Sewerby Hall and Gardens has unveiled new artwork by Marianne Walker, 'Kin', which can be viewed now by visitors to the East Wing of the house.
Marianne Walker is an award-winning contemporary artist who was born in Bridlington in 1970 and is currently based in London. Her practice is an exploration of drawing in conversation with the material remains of the past. She is fascinated by the malleability of history and the storytelling possibilities of archaeology.
The title of Walker's installation Kin points to the shared cultural and archaeological histories found in the landscape of East Yorkshire. She has made a number of new fragmentary three-dimensional drawings that build on these histories. The installation spans eons of time referencing the Jurassic, Mesolithic, Iron Age, Roman and early Medieval eras. In addition, important figures from East Yorkshire such as St Hilda and Amy Johnson are referenced, as well as works that use recognisable objects such as ceramics for playful extrapolations of drawing. Each work has been carefully researched and Walker has visited many national museums to locate artefacts that underline the important history of the area and which have fed into the drawings she has produced.
She is interested in the agency of drawing, how it immediately confers on the maker the power of expression. Each work in the installation experiments with a variety of approaches to this medium. Various drawing materials are explored, such as graphite pencil and metallic inks, as well as the more traditional black ink, and combinations of them all. Their application and the mark making used is a celebration of the physical qualities of these humble materials. At times, they are applied as a form of conversation across time, such as in the golden ink drawing that references the Beaker people ceramic tradition.
As well as referencing the actual histories of the area, Walker has explored its folkloric traditions. A skull made of paper-clay references the screaming skull of Burton Agnes as well as the early Medieval burials of Sewerby. Fictitious fossils of Megalosaurus type creatures are present, alongside the fins of Selkies, and Mermaids' feet. Even the werewolf legends of East Yorkshire make an appearance in the fragment of a hairy hand entitled Beast.
Marianne Walker said : "It was an honour to have been awarded this commission. The local, national and internationally important history of the area is hugely inspirational and I have felt a keen sense of responsibility in working with it."
Janice Smith, curator of Sewerby Hall and Gardens, added : " Marianne's installation is a unique visual response to the rich archeological and historical legacy which celebrates this part of our special landscape. Make time to see it!"
This commission is a part of the East Riding Visual Arts Uplift's commitment to showcasing and integrating contemporary art into the region.
To see Marianne's ongoing research, head to her instagram @mariannelwalker or her website: https://www.axisweb.org/p/mariannewalker/
Sewerby Hall is open daily. For full details of opening hours, events, opening hours, and prices for admission and passes, visit www.sewerbyhall.co.uk