Raison d’être



Site specific installation, National Trust Mottisfont, near Romsey, Hampshire (2013)
Commissioned by National Trust as part of A Place for Art

We have been artists in residence at Mottisfont from July to October 2013 and are the third of six co-creative art residencies initiated through A Place for Art. This project forms part of Storyscape, a major National Trust initiative to build new visitor facilities and reinterpret Mottisfont for future visitors.

Each residency involves working co-creatively with groups from the local community. Central to our project have been our co-creative partners: Winchester School of Art students and graduates, and members of the Test Valley and Romsey U3A (University of the 3rd Age) group.

Mottisfont’s name comes from the spring (font) around which the local community would meet (moot). Throughout the summer we have come together with the group for a series of ‘moots’. Our intention was to enable creative exploration to flourish within a supportive and imaginative group and to make art in response to the many layers, stories, vistas and illusions that seem to permeate the history, landscape and architecture of this place.

The whole process of investigation and the different lines of enquiry that have filled our time at Mottisfont eventually led us to the water source that generated the impulse to originally meet here – the font of Mottisfont. Our final installation is a mirrored chamber containing a diorama (a 3-D model scene). Viewed through a slot within the doorway of the loose box, an infinitely meandering stream weaves a path through a landscape as far as the eye can see – beyond the physical boundaries of the building.

Our co-creative group have also made a second installation set up in the room that houses the medieval piscina, a basin used by the priors who lived here 800 years ago, recently revealed as part of Storyscape. This installation reflects another aspect of Mottisfont’s past as a place for creative inspiration and activity.

Visit our blog at Mottisfont: A Place for Art