Save the date! On September 28th there will be an exhibition, open to all, at Ashton Court Mansion. This event celebrates the history of the building and it's purchase by Bristol City Council in 1959, making it Bristol's mansion house. It also asks for your input into it's future.
The event will see as much of the mansion open to the public as possible, with events running throughout the day and an exhibition of artwork generated during July workshops which I facilitated with Artspace Lifespace and Historic England.
Over a two week period, six primary schools from across the city had the opportunity to join us for a day. The aim of the sessions was to introduce them to the history of the mansion, encourage them to draw architectural features and reimagine the future of the site. They participated in an archaological dig on the south lawn, run by Archaoscan, where they rediscovered what are believed to be the foundations of an earlier stable block. During the dig, they uncovered clay pots, ancient glass bottles, animal bones, clay pipes and even some jewellery. In addition, half of the day was spent exploring the inside of the mansion house, including a guided tour to the first floor, which has been closed to the public for decades. The students were set to task, drawing architectural details found on the ground floor, recording features made from wood, stone, tile and glass. Following these explorations, we invited them to re-imagine the future of Ashton Court Mansion, offering the children the chance to have their say on it's future use. They produced incredible work and generated brilliant ideas - some more possible than others. Personal favourites included a space station, a wall-to-wall trampolining site, an orphanage and aquarium. However, there were also fantastic drawings of it's use as a hotel, spa, wedding venue, music venue, gaming centre and arts space amongst others.
Join us in September to see their observational drawings and future concepts for yourself, alongside my work produced during and since my artists' residency. I will have limited edition and one-off prints on display and available for sale, a percentage of which will go towards supporting Artspace Lifespace and their charitable work regenerating old and problem sites, securing their future into thriving creative resources.
Come along, enjoy the events and have your say on the future of this historic venue.