New for 2018 sees artist Hilary Jack: The Messenger coming to Mellerstain.
The Messenger is a series of four site-specific art works in the landscape, made by artist Hilary Jack in response to the politics of place and the rich history of Mellerstain House. The artworks draw out hidden histories and weave in a commentary on contemporary events. The exhibition is selected and curated by Sarah Coulson.
There are four new artworks:
In Memoriam is a 25 metre drawing on the lawn at Mellerstain House resembling a crop circle.
The drawing is based on the famous Robert Adam ceiling rose designs inside the house and acts as a memorial to the 13th Earl who was known for his interest in the paranormal and his extensive knowledge of the crop circle phenomenon. The Earl was born at Mellerstain House and lived there until his death in 2016.
Set in the epic landscape looking towards the Anglo Scottish Border No Borders is a bold neon text piece which adopts a quotation by the American explorer, pioneer aviator and feminist icon Amelia Earheart.
Her words 'No borders, just horizons, only freedom' can be read as a statement of intent regarding personal freedoms, physical boundaries, and freedom of movement and thought. It can also be seen through a contemporary political lens regarding Brexit, the Scottish referendum and global boundary disputes.
Hilary Jack’s intervention with the handsome statue of Hermes, messenger to the gods, represents the early days at Mellerstain House as Grisell Hulme acted as ‘go between” taking messengers to an imprisioned family friend whose son she later married. The statue of Hermes has long ago lost his caduseus, or mythical wand which gave him his special powers. The artist has replaced his missing caduseus to represents the magical union between the two lovers.
Look Out is a looming lookout tower resembling the Peel Towers of the locale. It references Lady Grisells’s considerable talents and famous household management accounts which vividly tell the story of the Baillie families travels and expenditure at Mellerstain in the 1750’s.
About the artist
Hilary Jack has exhibited across the UK and Internationally. She is co director of Paradise Works where here studio is based on the Salford Manchester border.
About the Curator
Sarah Coulson is Curator at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. She works on the development and curation of a variety of exhibitions, including Giuseppe Penone, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Yinka Shonibare MBE and Peter Randall-Page. Sarah has recently curated two exhibitions from the Arts Council Collection as part of the National Partners Programme, including a number of new commissions.