A masterpiece of 18th century English architecture, Kedleston Hall was built in the 1760s and is the most complete example of the architect Robert Adams work. He is arguably one of the most influential architects in the western world. Kedlestons astonishing gardens and grounds, also by Adam, remain remarkably well preserved over two hundred and fifty years later.
It is perhaps fitting, therefore, that the new walk through this rare example of a Robert Adam landscape will lead walkers to four new interactive sculptures by the multi-award winning art and architecture practice Studio Weave.
Studio Weave have previously designed the UKs Longest Bench which stretches 324m along the promenade at Littlehampton, and turned a canal barge into a floating cinema (Floating Cinema, 2011). Their bold, playful works, finely crafted and often bursting with colour, have earned them acclaim in both the UK and internationally. Having recently completed commissions in the City of London and with new projects from Dartford to Shanghai, Studio Weave are one of the countrys most in-demand new architectural talents.
The new route, entitled The Hear Here Walk, will allow visitors to see Kedleston Parkland as never before. For the first time, the public will be able to experience the original landscape in ways even Adam did not foresee. The walk opens to the public on Saturday the 15th of September.
Four huge listening trumpets/horns, called Hear Heres, will be embedded into the landscape, acting as giant remote ears by which visitors can connect to the world in a new way. These sculptures will ask you to pause a moment and listen to the sounds of the sky, woodlands, and water. They will magnify the hidden sounds of the environment, enabling visitors to experience the landscape as a world of sound and to listen to what they might not otherwise hear.
Adam used the term incidents to refer to his manmade points of interest in rural settings. Studio Weave play on this notion with their sculptures, allowing visitors to create their own listening incidents through their interaction with the four Hear Heres. What you hear through a Hear Here is unique: it is only for you, and you will never hear exactly the same thing twice!
This isnt the first time Kedleston Hall has been a place for listening. Studio Weaves listening sculptures recall the role of Kedleston Hall during the Second World War, when it was a listening station used by British Signals Intelligence. Enemy radio signals were collected and then either analysed locally or, if the information was encrypted, sent for processing to the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire.
The walk at its maximum is one and a half hours long, but shorter routes are also available. Walkers will need appropriate strong footwear and all-terrain buggies for infants.
Guided walks will be led by volunteers and experts focusing on different subjects related to the sculptures and their surroundings: architecture, art, nature, and trees. An Information Station about the Hear Here sculptures with an accompanying film can be found within Kedleston Hall itself.
For opening times, admission prices, and seasonal variations, see http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kedleston-hall/