Through its varied research outputs – the commissioned artworks, research conference, this website, the project exhibition – and working with our partners, our project has impact on three principle communities of interest: heritage site visitors; arts and heritage practitioners; and visual arts and heritage organisations, including UK funders and policy makers.
The research commissions gave heritage visitors an opportunity to experience and engage with a series of unique contemporary artworks made in direct response to our four host sites: Cherryburn, Gibside, Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, and Holy Trinity Church. Through these encounters audiences were presented with new and alternative ways to access the stories and histories of these properties, which went beyond standard approaches to heritage interpretation.
A major project conference at Newcastle University (29 & 30 July 2019) brought together a wide constituency of artists, curators, arts organisations, heritage managers, education and interpretation specialists, and academics, to exchange their knowledge and experience of the contemporary arts in heritage field. The programme included over 40 presentations, two panel discussion sessions and major keynotes from John Orna-Ornstein, Director of Culture and Engagement at The National Trust and Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW.
Continuing our work with major UK project partners from across the arts and heritage sectors our research will feed directly into the development of contemporary art in heritage practice, bringing new understandings of the commissioning process and the impact of site-specific temporary artworks on the heritage visitor experience. Findings from the research are being widely disseminated through conference presentations and publication and we continue to seek active routes for sharing and discussing our findings with other arts and heritage organisations not directly involved as partners in the project.