National Trust teams up with Essex Cultural Diversity Project for community art projects

The National Trust and the Essex Cultural Diversity Project have teamed up to create two commissions focusing on NT properties; Bourne Mill in Colchester, and Paycocke’s House and Grange Barn in Coggeshall. They provide a unique opportunity to creatively explore NT properties and engage local communities.

After a call out for proposals in Autumn 2019, which attracted over 30 applications, two projects were selected. The projects started in January 2020 and were developing nicely with a variety of workshops on property and within the local communities, however the Covid-19 pandemic caused an abrupt halt to the workshops. The artists went online to allow participation from home. The artworks created will be incorporated into an installation for each property.

Bourne Narratives

Artists Nicola Burrell and Lisa Temple-Cox are creating a large felt installation exploring Bourne Mill and highlighting the beauty and ecological diversity of the site. It is a creative opportunity for participants to reflect and share memories and personal histories. On the Bourne Narratives Facebook page you can find self-led activities along with videos of workshops and the Mill.

Woven Sound, Knitted Community

The project revolves around the historical use of Grange Barn as a combined place of industry (wool) and community gathering, and the musical connection between Paycocke’s House and the composers Gustav & Imogen Holst. Composer Mike Roberts has been using accessible musical activity and creation as the focus – working with the local community to create patterns that can be captured both in wool (through knitted and woven patterns) and sound, to ‘compose’ a collection of rhythmic woollen pictures. There is an introductory video on Mike’s website with resources to allow participation at home.

The projects are funded by Arts Council England and the National Trust.

Article by Kerith Ririe, Property Operations Manager at Paycocke’s House & Gardens, Coggeshall Grange Barn and Bourne Mill.