New Contemporary Art Exhibition To Open This Summer At Orford Ness

This summer the National Trust’s Orford Ness will host Afterness, a major new art exhibition presented by Artangel, featuring work by a collection of international artists.

For over thirty years, Artangel have generated some of the most widely discussed art of recent times in unexpected places, including prominent large-scale projects with artists who have become household names in the UK. 

Afterness will open on 1 July 2021 to visitors with new works by poet Ilya Kaminsky, artists Alice Channer, Emma McNally and Tatiana Trouvé and an installation featuring sound recordings made on Orford Ness over several years by Iain Chambers and Chris Watson. Beacon.black, a new 24-hour radio station conceived by DJ and producer Brian d’Souza, mixing sounds from Orford Ness’s nature and culture also launches as the first in a series of commissions performed, filmed and recorded on site and shared online, including new works by London-based artists Paul Maheke and Rachel Pimm and Atlanta-based musician and artist Lonnie Holley.

Along the visitor route, visitors will listen to a suit of poems by writer Ilya Kaminsky while unique installations will feature in some of the most iconic structures including Black Beacon, Lab 1 and The Armoury, on a part of the Ness that is not normally accessible to the public.

Artangel and the National Trust have been working to introduce Orford Ness to a number of leading artists. This unique landscape, Suffolk’s secret coast, has inspired the artists to create new works that explore the Ness’ intertwining of man and nature. During lockdown, while visits were not possible, the Trust shared images and video of the site remotely to enable the artists to form their creative plans for the installation. Those works now form the Afterness project with artwork located both on Orford Ness and online.

The exhibition continues the long history of art projects on Orford Ness and is the start of a two-year partnership with Artangel. 

Glen Pearce, Site manager at Orford Ness said; “Orford Ness has a long history of art projects since the National Trust opened the site 26 years ago. The unique landscape and fascinating, often secretive history has provided inspiration to artists across all genres and we’re really excited to see how the landscape will inspire these new works of art from leading international artists.”

James Lingwood and Michael Morris, Co-Directors of Artangel said; “The memory of the shingle of Orford Ness contains a singular history. For most of the 20th century, the immutable forces of nature co-existed with the human need to defend against vulnerability from attack.

“A former test site where military research into aerial defence systems gave rise to radar and where bomb ballistics were developed and detonated, Orford Ness in our eyes is now a site of conservation and silence, saved for the wind and the gulls.

“This 16km shingle spit has proved to be fertile ground for the imagination of the artists and writers with whom Artangel has had the pleasure of collaborating over the past 18 months. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the National Trust to present Afterness and its programme of commissions both on the Ness and online.”

The artworks are designed to complement the landscape and existing information will remain in place so you can discover the stories and secrets of Orford Ness during your visit.

Visitors can experience the exhibition as part of the standard admission ticket which can be booked online at The National Trust website www.nationaltrust.org.uk/orfordness. Tickets are released each Friday for the following week and pre-booking is highly recommended.

For more information, visit about the artists and installations visit: www.artangel.org.uk/project/afterness

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