About At Home: A National Partners Programme Exhibition from the Arts Council Collection
At Home was the first in a series of exhibitions curated from the Arts Council Collection as part of the National Partners programme, marking the Collection’s 70th anniversary. The exhibition highlighted Arts Council Collection works of domestic scale within the Bothy Gallery.
The exhibition included pieces by Yoko Ono, Joseph Beuys, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Sophie Calle, Fiona Banner, Chris Evans, Arman, Dan Graham, Paul Rooney, Roy Lichtenstein, Barbara Hepworth, Jordan Baseman, Robert Filliou, Bill Brandt, Jenny Holzer and Mark Wallinger.
At Home relaunched the Bothy Gallery following its refurbishment, supported by Arts Council England and a significant public giving campaign. Once the home of the Head Gardener, the Bothy Gallery is a historic part of the Bretton Estate and was built around 1810. The exhibition referenced the gallery as former dwelling, but also the sense of YSP as a sanctuary for many and our continued work with hard-to-reach communities, including those who have made the region their home whether by choice or forced migration.
Through the familiar threads of home and domestic objects, the exhibition shared over 40 works from 1937 to 2004 and revealed the shift in art over that period from the representational, such as Flowers Against Chintz (1956) by the Bloomsbury Group artist Duncan Grant, through to the powerful social commentary photography of Bill Brandt, to conceptual art and the appropriation of ‘ready-made’ objects as pioneered by Marcel Duchamp, evident in works such as My Glasses (1994) by Jonathan Monk.
Intuition... Instead of a Cookbook (1968) by Joseph Beuys, recognised as one of the most important artists of the last century, reflected his profound philosophy that art could affect social change and that the simple act of cooking a meal could itself be considered an artistic process. The transformation of the everyday into the extraordinary through such process informed Darren Lago’s work based on a hairdryer, This is Not a Pipe (1996), in a knowing and playful reference to René Magritte’s famous painting Ceci n’est pas une pipe (1929) and its message that the artwork was canvas and paint, not the thing it represented. The tendency to overlay objects with meaning was further explored in Sophie Calle’s The Tie (1993) which is emblazoned with a poetic text about a man she met and the tie he wore.
This exhibition offered the first opportunity to experience Flat 23 (2002) by Paul Rooney, a three-part film and sound work in which the former resident of a soon-to-be demolished flat lists the objects that used to be in her home. This relates to Seizure (2008/2013) by Roger Hiorns, an extraordinary crystal-covered flat first created in a condemned property in Elephant and Castle, removed and preserved by the Arts Council Collection. Seizure is on long-term loan to YSP where it is presented within an award-winning concrete structure, commissioned from Adam Khan Architects, near the Bothy Garden.
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