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Old and new come together as The Harley Gallery announces its 2016 exhibition programme

Grand Tour - Rose English_Pegasus_1975_photo_Michael Bennett

The godfather of pop art and one of the most original performance artists in the country today are just two of the leading contemporary artists showing at The Harley Gallery – where Old and New Come Together – throughout this, their landmark year.

March 2016 also sees the opening of a new gallery space designed by award-winning architect Hugh Broughton to house The Portland Collection, Welbeck’s internationally significant aristocratic collection of fine and decorative art dating back to 1500.

Visitors will be able to ‘pick and mix’ from contemporary exhibitions in The Harley Gallery – which often take inspiration from an historic object or traditional skills – and contrast them with works from the historic collection in the new gallery.

Pop art pioneer Sir Peter Blake, best known for The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover, will be showing his World Tour series of cities around the world which reveal his fascination with the surreal and comedic opportunities presented by the use of collage.

The horse-related work of internationally renowned artist Rose English, ‘a performance artist of matchless originality and wit’ – Daily Telegraph, will be juxtaposed with material from Welbeck’s rich equestrian history such as the celebrated 17th Century treatise Le Méthode et Invention Nouvelle de Dresser les Chevaux by William Cavendish.

Other exhibitions include Claire Twomey’s installation of 80 1.5m high ceramic vases, rare stereoscopic colour ‘Autochromes’ of the Edwardian gardens at Welbeck and closing the year with portraits from critically acclaimed painter Sophie Ploeg.

Gallery director Lisa Gee said: “2016 is a great year to visit The Harley Gallery.  Our new gallery for The Portland Collection opens in March and of course our changing programme of contemporary exhibitions continues.  We start the year with the original collages from Sir Peter Blake’s print series and move through ceramic installations to figurative paintings celebrating 2016 as the Year of the Garden.

“Our exhibition programme is designed to show first rate visual arts in our tranquil rural setting, spanning fine art, contemporary craft, and historical treasures. Exhibitions might focus on family friendly themes, or explore a topic in-depth for a more seasoned gallery goer.  We aim to curate a yearly programme that will inspire and delight all our visitors.

“This year, we’ve carefully crafted the programme to help illuminate the historic works shown in the new gallery for The Portland Collection. Our contemporary exhibitions might take inspiration from an historic object, they might use the same skills that have been handed down over the centuries from craftsperson to craftsperson, or explore similar themes – whether natural forms, costume or sculpture.”

Exciting new contemporary art being made in the region is the subject of the first new show at The Harley Gallery in 2016. If A Pair Is Two, What Is Three? is a series of short displays featuring collaborations initiated by artists based at Primary in Nottingham, a collective of artists working to develop new ways of engaging audiences with contemporary visual art.

Find out more and plan your visit at www.harleygallery.co.uk

Posted on 12 January 2016

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