The investigation of the audience experience of contemporary art in heritage activity was core to the ‘Consumption’ strand of our research project. Our research with audiences was delivered through two routes. 

In route one, the research team facilitated a series of focus groups involving individuals drawn from diverse audience sectors. The aim of the focus groups was to provide an in-depth examination of participants’ individual responses to and experiences of the commissioned artworks. Over the course of 2018 each group (comprising six to ten participants) visited four commissioned artworks across three sites, Cherryburn, Gibside and Holy Trinity Church. 

The second route focused on the impact of the artwork encounter on independent heritage site visitors, as recorded in on-site visitor books, comments walls and short on-site audio interviews.