A new temporary exhibition of paintings by Nottingham-based artist Tristram Aver takes its inspiration from Newstead Abbey and will be displayed in the Great Drawing Room from 7 March to 5 July 2015.
The innovative paintings which form the exhibition, entitled And stand a ruin amidst ruins, have been inspired by the collections, artworks, decorative arts and historic legacy of Newstead Abbey, the ancestral home of Romantic poet Lord Byron. Using late 18th to early 19th century portraits, sporting art and landscape paintings of pastoral England and Nottinghamshire, alongside the abundance of wallpaper designs as a starting point, Aver has created an altered, condensed view of Newstead's history, resulting in complex paintings that hint at how the building was used, and how it is used today.
Tristram is the recipient of a New Opportunities Award (NOA) as part of the national Arts Council-funded New Expressions programme, which aims to unlock the creative potential of museums by enabling them to commission new works by contemporary artists in response to their historic collections.
Tristram said of his work: "This award has enabled me to push my ideas, and my painting, into new and exciting directions, and to do it exclusively for a much-loved local landmark in the city where I live. 'And stand...' is my most ambitious commission to date, and the first opportunity I have had to display my work within a historic building that has inspired it. They can hardly be described as subtle works: I have created 3 large free-standing paintings surrounded by neon light, and displayed in the regal settings of the Great Drawing Room to stand out and impress amongst the static displays."
Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture said: "This exhibition presents Newstead Abbey in a new light from the perspective of an exciting local artist. It reinterprets the treasures of Newstead in an innovative way which is also accessible to visitors and lovers of Newstead. We are delighted that one of our own employees has won this prestigious award and is able to display his work at one of our heritage sites."
Grace Davies, Director, Visual Arts South West said: "We are delighted to be working with Tristram Aver as one of the New Opportunity Award recipients for the New Expressions 3 programme. His is the inaugural exhibition for the whole programme and sets a high, exciting benchmark for the quality of artwork that we hope the programme will elicit. His work will truly illuminate the space, encouraging new ways of understanding the important collections and history of Newstead Abbey."