The Programme will explore the impact of the Industrial Revolution with internationally renowned sculptor, David Nash commissioned to produce a new monumental sculpture entitled Three Black Humps from charred wood.

Nash’s work will be unveiled on Monday 22 June with the backdrop of the brick remains at Coalbrookdale, next to the Old Furnace, where Abraham Darby perfected the technique of smelting iron with coke 1709.

Artist Faye Claridge has been selected to be the Artist in Residence, responding to the Darby family houses and archives. Claridge produces contemporary art works, investigating archives and traditional customs and folklore. During her time in Ironbridge she will invite local workers and residents, to help create an inspiring multi-media work named The Mystery of The Missing Portraits.

The House of Fairy Tales, a national children’s arts charity, established by artists Gavin Turk and Deborah Curtis, will be producing The Time Travellers’ Ironbridge Quest a free family festival taking over Enginuity and Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron.

An inspiring new exhibition Landscape with Machines will also be on show in the Coalbrookdale Gallery adjacent to Enginuity. It will explore the impact of the Industrial Revolution and feature works by leading contemporary artists, as well as pieces of industrial art from Ironbridge Gorge Museum’s nationally designated collections.

This innovative programme of events will provide the backdrop for Shifting Worlds: Reimagining the Industrial Revolution, a symposium 9 – 10 October, when academics and artists will meet to discuss the themes explored by Shifting Worlds.

The Programme is collaboration between the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, the education and heritage conservation charity that operates the ten award-winning museums in the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, and Telford and Meadow Arts, the Shropshire based charitable organisation that produces exceptional contemporary art projects in unusual places, bringing high quality contemporary art to areas where few other facilities exist.

Anna Brennand, Chief Executive Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, said: “Ironbridge Gorge is known across the world as a Birthplace of Industry and Coalbrookdale is one of our greatest cultural assets. We are keen to host a number of high impact artistic interventions in response to the Coalbrookdale site and celebrate our rich industrial heritage through new contemporary art forms. We are very grateful to Arts Council England for funding this exciting Programme and we look forward to working with a range of contemporary artists in this inspiring environment.”

More details about ‘Shifting Worlds’ can be found on the Ironbridge and Meadow Arts websites. 

Art Fund – Going Places – Oct 2023
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