Artist Clare Twomey has given a modern twist to old technology to unite past, present and future in her new artwork.
Her exhibition Half in shadow: Half in light runs at The Harley Gallery on the Welbeck Estate until June 17 and aims to shine a light on the people who live and work at the historic, ducal, Welbeck Estate.
Twomey has used advanced digital production to overcome the technical challenge of engineering ultra-thin, 3mm thick, porcelain lithophanes at A3 size. Images can only be seen clearly when the lithophanes are illuminated from behind. Ten people were extensively photographed with each chosen to illustrate the diversity of life and work on the estate, which sits on the borders of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and South Yorkshire.
After first visiting the estate 15 years ago, Twomey has continued to follow its fortunes as it has developed and evolved a more contemporary feel. As well as The Harley Gallery, the estate hosts dozens of artist studios, a highly regarded farm shop, the School of Artisan Food, production of Stichelton cheese, and The Portland Collection, the historic art collection of the Dukes of Portland whose family has been at Welbeck for over 400 years.
Clare Twomey: “I chose lithophanes for this exhibition because, for me, they can show the future held in the glow of the past. I feel that’s very relevant for an historic estate. This project will skew the way that we perceive the contemporary and reveal the push and pull of time at Welbeck. Just as the lives and work of generations before shape modern life, so too will this old technology frame the telling of modern stories from the estate.”
Clare Twomey is a leading British artist and a research fellow at the University of Westminster. She works with clay in large-scale installations, sculpture and site-specific works. Over the past 10 years she has exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate, Crafts Council, Museum of Modern Art Kyoto Japan, the Eden Project and the Royal Academy of Arts.
This exhibition is part of The Grand Tour, showcasing the diverse richness of art, architecture and landscape Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire have to offer and which also includes Nottingham Contemporary, Derby Museums and Chatsworth.