Interpreting the Archives

WWII Silk escape map

Interpreting the Archives is an exhibition developed as part of Contact, the Biennial’s outreach programme, which offers access to the event through participation, education and skill swaps.

The exhibition involved a working collaboration between a dedicated team of Biennial volunteers, the Mansion Collections Manager, Biennial Curators and artists exploring the links between Tatton Park’s archives and selected 2012 Biennial artworks. In 2012, the Biennial theme is ‘Flights of Fancy’, an examination of the human urge to fly and an acknowledgment of both the aeronautical legacies of Tatton Park, and the desire to accomplish the impossible.

Tatton Park Biennial is a unique event: it commissions artists to make new works that address the site and its various histories. In order for many of these works to take shape, artists, curators and Tatton staff need to work together to understand their various disciplines, the restrictions of the site and new ways of working together towards a common goal. Like most arts and culture organisations, Tatton Park and the Biennial rely on a small army of volunteers to work effectively. Our volunteers are a truly valuable asset to us, and we are delighted to have had the opportunity to work with so many people of different ages, backgrounds and abilities to develop this exhibition!

Within this small exhibition, you will see texts written by some of our volunteers and the Mansion Collections Manager. Their words offer insights into just a handful of some of the collections that comprise Tatton Park. In response to these texts are others, which examine some of the Biennial artists’ work with the collections.