The ‘Creation’ strand of the 'Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience' research project centres on the development of four new temporary art commissions for three heritage properties in North East England: Cherryburn in Northumberland; Gibside in Gateshead; and Holy Trinity Church in Sunderland.

Taking a case study approach our research will explore in detail how contemporary artists engage with heritage narratives at these three sites and how these heritage properties (their staff and volunteers) become active participants in this process.

The creative involvement of Andrew Burton (PI) as an artist delivering one of the four commissions is a key feature of our project, maximising the capacity of our research to investigate and understand the creative processes, conceptual and practical challenges of artists’ engagement with heritage and the potential impacts of this work on future individual artistic practice.

In our selection process for the case study commissions we invited 43 artists from a researched longlist to submit an Expression of Interest in the commissions at one or more of our three research sites. Working with our project partners and site staff from Cherryburn, Gibside and Holy Trinity Church, 12 of these artists were then shortlisted to present more developed proposals. After a series of site visits and panel interviews, three artists were selected to deliver the commissions and to join our research project.

The four commissions will be developed over an eight-month research and production period culminating in the public presentation of the artworks on-site at the three properties in Summer 2018. Alongside this the research team will be working with each of the artists individually to record and track the creative development of their commissioned artworks and in particular the processes of artists’ engagement with the heritage sites and their historical contexts.