The investigation of the audience experience of contemporary art in heritage sites is core to the ‘Consumption’ strand of our research project.
Presented on-site in Summer 2018 the commissions (generated through our ‘Creation’ research strand) will give heritage site visitors an opportunity to experience and engage with four site-specific temporary artworks made in direct response to Cherryburn, Gibside and Holy Trinity Church. Through these artworks audiences will be presented with new ways to access the stories and histories of these three very different sites.
Our research with audiences will be delivered through two routes. In route one, the research team will facilitate a series of focus groups involving individuals from four different audience sectors (e.g. regular heritage site attenders, contemporary arts attenders, and non-attenders). The aim of these focus groups is to provide an in-depth examination of the participants’ individual responses to and experiences of the commissioned artworks. Each group (comprising six to ten participants) will visit all four of our commissioned artworks and will attend public talks by the artists involved. The second route focuses 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 interviews.