After a winter of conservation at the National Trust hall, visitors can uncover new country house stories on the ground floor, a new changing programme of adult workshops on the top floor and explore how art can improve wellbeing in the Saloon Galleries with the new exhibition – In the moment: the art of wellbeing. 

In the moment: the art of wellbeing opens this spring at Beningbrough Hall exploring how art can help relaxation and provide a break from life’s daily worries. Inspired by research that visiting an art gallery is good for your health, the exhibition which is created in partnership with the Arts Council Collection, features the works of high profile artists such as L.S. Lowry, Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Henry Moore and Marc Chagall. The use of sculpture, colour or intricate sketching alongside interactive techniques will allow visitors to explore their own personal responses to the art. 

Clare Alton-Fletcher, Programming and Exhibitions Manager said “Our aim in curating the exhibition is to give people time to pause, reflect and absorb art and consider its wellbeing benefits. Take a moment in a comfy seat and have your view filled with colour with the abstract work in the amazing surroundings of the 18th century Saloon, listen to poetry at a listening station or be motivated to get active after watching the film created by Melanie Manchot of dance groups taking part in a silent disco through the streets of London”.

The impressive Great Hall and Saloon Galleries will become home to fourteen engaging and different works. From the translucent and colour-shifting Doryphoros sculpture by Matthew Darbyshire standing tall in the Great Hall, to the optical illusion of colour from Bridget Riley in the Saloon and the engaging and immersive detail of Doing, Thinking, Speaking by Lisa Milroy. The artworks are curated to encourage visitors to explore the ‘five ways to wellbeing’ – to connect, be active, give, keep learning and take notice.

Clare went on to say “One of my favourite pieces in the exhibition is the layered polycarbonate sculpture in blues, greens and turquoises which is a modern take on a classical sculpture of the spear bearer, Doryphoros. It changes and becomes more translucent or more colourful with the changing light of the day or the angle you’re viewing from”.

All floors in 300-year-old hall have had a refresh with a new orientation across the ground floor sharing the stories of the country house and Beningbrough’s families who have shaped the evolution of the hall.

The top floor will provide the place for a brand new participatory programme for 2020 aimed primarily at adults. Create and connect offers over 90 opportunities to have a go with activities ranging from felting to creative writing, drop in art sessions, a book club and a selection of pre-bookable specialist workshops led by artists; each activity connecting the visitor to the history, art and gardens of Beningbrough.

The new season at Beningbrough provides further opportunities for visitors to explore the wider parkland and formal gardens which are in themselves experiencing a renaissance. Families can let off steam in the wilderness play area or on open lawns and the walled garden restaurant and brew house can help keep visitors fuelled throughout their day.

Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens opens for the main season from Tuesday 3 March until Sunday 1 November 2020, Tuesdays to Sundays plus Mondays in June – August and bank holidays. Visit the website to plan your visit or follow NTBeningbrough on social media.

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