Sean Scully at Houghton Hall – Smaller than the Sky

On Tuesday 11 July, the Art & Design department took A-Level students to Houghton Hall & Gardens – a historic Palladian mansion in North Norfolk:

Built for Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, in the 1720s, Houghton Hall is now home to the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley – a descendant of Sir Robert Walpole – and his family. The Hall is set in extensive parkland, with its famous white fallow deer, an award-winning Walled Garden, Model Soldier Museum (the largest private collection of model soldiers in the world), and an impressive permanent collection of contemporary sculptures are displayed on the grounds. (Houghton Hall, 2016).

And all of this was before we saw world-renowned artist Sean Scully’s major exhibition!  Houghton Hall has been transformed with Smaller than the Sky, an engaging solo show of monumental sculptures, paintings and works on paper by Irish artist Scully, and is the largest show of the artist’s sculptures to date.  Of the thirteen sculptures in the exhibition, there are ten large and three small sculptures: four of these are brand new and shown here for the first time!

Keziah commented ‘The trip to Houghton Hall allowed me to develop my ACD project’s key ideas, with the wide range of pieces on display making me think of materials, compositions and concepts that I hadn’t even considered beforehand. Overall, the trip made me think back to my own project and contemplate how I could strengthen it with lots of inspiration from another artist and even the venue itself.’

Millie reflected on the trip ‘Houghton Hall was a great experience and really helped me to develop my Personal Investigation.  Spending time in a vast outdoor space, and in fresh air, really helped me to get a whole new perspective on my Investigation – helping me to develop my original ideas even further.’

Freya commented ‘Visiting Houghton Hall was an amazing opportunity as we got to see a myriad of accomplished artists’ work such as Sean Scully, which really inspired my Personal Investigation and widened my scope to more vibrant work that I wouldn’t normally get to see on my own!’

Silas also remarked ‘I’m not a massive fan of modern art but Sean Scully’s work really broke the conventions, especially within his sculpture work. The sculptures, and in particular the textures, within were fascinating to see in relation to my project of product and packaging design.’

Mrs Wright, who organised the visit, said: ‘Our DSFC students showed so much maturity and interest by exploring the artworks and surrounding environment, which has really helped them to think independently and make critical links to their own studies. The trip to Houghton Hall was an amazing opportunity for our students to develop creative thinking, expression and personal growth.’

Click on any of the images below to enlarge them.