From Saturday 29 February, an art installation celebrating the leap year will open at the National Trust’s Nunnington Hall, Helmsley.

Emma Stothard, one of Yorkshire’s leading wildlife sculptors, has created an exhibition especially for Nunnington Hall celebrating each of the 366 days this year. The individual hares include sculptures, illustrations and paintings, all displayed within the Smoking Room and set amongst its historic collection.

Emma’s work explores the array of materials that embody the ever-changing architecture and fabric of a historic building, while experimenting with contemporary methods. Each piece will be individually hand-finished and dated by Emma, including a special ‘Leap Day Hare’ marking the leap day, Saturday 29 February. 

Laura Kennedy, Visitor Experience Manager, said:

“It’s great to welcome Emma back and we’re so pleased that Emma felt inspired by Nunnington Hall and its history to create a special installation; an installation which will only be available to see at Nunnington. We’re looking forward to seeing her work within the Smoking Room where the work will sit alongside the historic collection.

Emma has spent the last year creating each of the 366 works which includes clay, wire and willow sculptures, textiles hangs and cushions, drawings and ceramic tiles. The work ranges from four-foot willow sculptures to four-inch miniature wire and clay collectables. They’ll be placed by Emma through the room in full view and some of the hidden spaces, nooks and crannies from drawers and under furniture.

Emma says: “Nunnington Hall such a rich sense of history – generations have lived here, and you can feel their presence in the furniture, the wallpaper and the textiles. Each hare that I have handmade represents a day of the year 2020, and each of those days is going to be special for someone – a birthday, an anniversary, maybe even a proposal of marriage on the Leap Day itself!”

The installation 366 Leaping Hares will be available until 1 November. 

Nunnington Hall is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10.30am – 5pm. For more information about visiting Nunnington Hall, tel: 01439 748283 or visit

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