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Pleasure Grounds Exhibition Opens

Discover a new exhibition, ‘Pleasure Grounds’, by Hereford College of Arts at Berrington Hall

At Berrington Hall, near Leominster, visitors will be able to experience a new exhibition by students from Hereford College of Arts from Saturday 2 March to Tuesday 30 April. ‘Pleasure Grounds’ has been created by Level 3 Diploma and Extended Diploma Art & Design students in response to the iconic walled garden and pleasure grounds at Berrington, which were designed by ‘Capability’ Brown around 243 years ago.

Visitors will be able to discover three elements of the exhibition. ‘Think and Play’ is an exhibition of creative photography by first year students, who were challenged to explore and experiment to create visualisations that formed a sense of place. ‘Shelter/sculpture’ communicates ideas by second year students for a unique structure which could be installed in the gardens at Berrington. ‘Who am I?’ takes inspiration from the current exhibitions in the mansion, ‘A Dress Fit for a King’ and ‘Eye am She’. Students have created patterns and designs which could be applied to goods for sale in the shop.

The team at Berrington have embarked on an ambitious, large-scale conservation project to revive and conserve ‘Capability’ Brown’s final walled garden and pleasure grounds, which was one of the main inspirations behind the students’ work. The curved section of the walled garden is one of only two surviving examples of a Brown-designed walled garden to survive the centuries intact. It’s now in urgent need of conservation work to ensure its preservation for future generations to enjoy. This involves not only carrying out the much-needed conservation work, but also ensuring the space remains relevant and accessible for all; a twenty-first century vision for an eighteenth-century garden. Berrington are therefore working in close collaboration with their community partners, including Hereford College of Arts, to make sure the vision for the gardens are co-created and beneficial for the local community.

Operations Manager, Ana Vaughan, is thrilled to be working in partnership with Hereford College of Arts as part of the Berrington Garden Project: “Partnerships are not a new thing for Berrington; they were happening here in the eighteenth century between ‘Capability’ Brown and his son-in-law, Henry Holland. Now, once again, it is a collaborative approach which is the driving force behind restoring the gardens just over 240 years later.”

From summer 2019, visitors will be able to explore the rare curved section for the first time and experience creative and innovative horticultural displays, alongside traditional fruit, flower and vegetable production; a delight for the senses all year round. Fundraising events are happening throughout the year, including gardening workshops, Party in the Pleasure Grounds, Berri-Fest and a sponsored 10k run on 22 September; further information on how to get involved and support the project can be found on their website. Berrington need to raise £200,000 to repair the curved wall and preserve the space for future generations. The vital conservation work of the National Trust would not be possible without the continued support of their members, visitors and volunteers.

‘Pleasure Grounds’ is happening alongside other contemporary art installations at Berrington which are focused around the Berrington Garden Project. The ‘LOOK! LOOK! LOOK!’ pavilion is an eighteenth-century inspired art installation by internationally renowned artists, Heather and Ivan Morison. Created with the support of Trust New Art and Arts Council England, the artists, in much the same way as the students, combined ideas surrounding eighteenth-century fashions with research on how the family used and enjoyed the gardens. ‘LOOK!’ was designed to mark the beginning of Berrington’s Garden Project and can be seen throughout 2019.

For further information on ‘Pleasure Grounds’ please see Berrington’s website: