Peckover House is awarded funding for arts project

The new art project at Peckover House
The new art project at Peckover House

The National Trust’s Peckover House has been awarded funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, so that work can begin on a contemporary arts project that will be inspired by the stories of Peckover and represent them in a new light to visitors in 2018.

As part of the National Trust’s Trust New Art Programme, and in partnership with Arts Council England, the project will be completed in time to celebrate 70 years of the National Trust caring for Peckover House.

Cambridge based artists Sarah Evans and David Kefford, of Aid and Abet, have been commissioned for the project. Chosen for their experience and previous community projects, they will now spend this year researching and collecting ideas.

The Peckover archives hold a fascinating collection of art – from amateur Victorian watercolours to professional modern Surrealist art. The lives, beliefs and artistic talents of the Peckover and Penrose families who once lived there, will all form part of the artists’ research and inspiration, as will their discussions with staff, volunteers and community groups.

Ben Rickett, the National Trust’s House Manager at Peckover, said: “There’s so much to share about Peckover’s history, and this anniversary provides us with a fantastic opportunity to rethink and re-address how we display the rooms of the house and the stories we tell of the family and Peckover itself.

“The house has witnessed some startling contrasts in its time, such as that between the Peckover family’s strict Quaker beliefs and later family members’ love of surrealist art.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing Sarah and David’s work progress and revealing what they come up with to our visitors in 2018.”

Grace Davies, the National Trust’s Contemporary Art Programme Manager said: “Peckover’s engaging and thought-provoking project builds on a successful contemporary art programme we have been offering at National Trust places for over five years, which gives audiences new ways to experience and understand the houses and landscapes in our care through the imaginative eyes of today’s artists.

“We look forward to working with Aid and Abet to unlock the histories, ideas and collections of Peckover.”