As part of the annual nationwide Museums at Night initiative, Compton Verney is aiming to host a magical, light-filled evening at the Warwickshire gallery in October – but needs YOUR help to secure the creative genius of artist Aowen Jin. An exciting aspect of the Museums at Night concept is Connect! This is an opportunity for galleries and venues across the UK to compete with one another for the services of a leading contemporary artist. However, in a neat twist, the artists themselves select their own short-list of venues with which they would work.
And then the action begins! In Compton Verney’s case, Chinese-born British artists Aowen Jin has selected it to go head to head with four other attractions - Fulham Palace in London, the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust in Telford, Torre Abbey Historic House and Gardens in Torquay and Wales’ Rhondda Heritage Park.
Taking the form of a simply popularity contest, a la Britain’s Got Talent or the X Factor, Compton Verney simply needs to garner the most votes in order to ‘win’ Aowen.
Voting opens at 11am on Friday 29 April and closes at 9pm on Saturday 14 May.
To inspire people to vote, Aowen says: “Imagine [Compton Verney] filled with magical figurative stories, like the Sistine Chapel, but that can only be seen using UV torches. As you move the torch around the museum in the dark, all of the paintings on the wall come to life, and they appear and disappear as your beam of light moves from one image to another. The paintings are inspired by the history and collections of the museum itself, reflected through the eyes of the viewers. I am also interested in using balloons to shape the space, painted with UV ink, which can then create a temporary 3D installation that can be explored with UV torches too.”
She adds: “This will be a new body of collaborative work that is not only created by me, but also invites the local community to take part and imprint their sensitivity of the museum onto the space they love. In a grand finale, I will choreograph performances which challenge modern perception of beauty and aesthetics. During the event, I will also share my experiences through talks and offer a workshop in collaboration with visitors to the gallery to create art together for the project.”
Director of Compton Verney, Dr Steven Parissien urges art lovers to vote: “If you can do it for Simon Cowell and co’, you can do it for Compton Verney! I’m encouraging everyone to go online and simply click on the link for us. Every single person who votes for us will be making a direct contribution to bringing exciting, visually stunning contemporary art to the Midlands and rural locations such as ours.”
As part of its own contribution to the magic and wonder of Museums at Night, Compton Verney is also working with Creatmosphere, a cross-genre studio specialising in light displays and installations, to introduce a sensational light installation into the grounds.
In the meantime, to cast your vote visit http://museumsatnight.org.uk/connect/