UNRAVELLING THE NATIONAL TRUST
The Messel-Rosse family lived at Nymans House in the 19/20th centuries and were avid decorative arts collectors. Nymans House and Garden is a National Trust property known primarily for its exquisite English garden, which has been designed and developed by three generations of the Messel family. The artwork is a large-scale fan inspired by the Messel family fan collection. ‘Grand Tour Fan’ appropriates from the original c. 18th century Grand Tour Fan on display in Cambridge. This fan inserts intentionally banal public places from contemporary Sussex life into the historical framework — substituting scenes of Italian ruins with those of Gatwick Airport (just a few miles from Nymans House, built on top of a former manor and dairy farm).
The second fan on display in the Nymans House and Gardens, ‘Road to Nymans’ pictures the M23 roadway, the main thoroughfare between London and Nymans, which elevates with absurd revisions of the ornamental fan scenes, challenging site-specific concepts of fantasy and utopia.
Both fans will be placed on site for the ‘Unravelling the National Trust’ exhibition, May – November 2012. The fans are made of hand-painted CNC-milled sintra plastic with a wooden base.
Special thanks to Noah Kirby, Doh Young Kim, Allison Gorman, and Jaidyn Seo for their assistance in digital file building and physical construction. Photo credit: Sussie Ahlberg