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TREEHOUSE WITH A TWIST

The National Trust, near Worcester, is officially opening a Robert Adam inspired treehouse in its parkland on 25 November 2017.

Visitors are invited to attend the launch of the ‘Adam Speaks – Treehouse’ at Croome which will be celebrated with dance, music and poetry.

“Adam Speaks has been one of the most exciting projects we have created so far at Croome,” said Rachel Sharpe, Croome’s Creative Partnerships Manager. “By working directly with the participants, artist Chris Alton developed a new artwork inspired by 18th century architect Robert Adam and his work at Croome which echoed the thoughts, feelings and ideas of all the people involved. Adam Speaks will be a wonderful addition to Croome’s exciting programme of contemporary art, exhibitions, drama and poetry.”

To continue the ethos of the 6th Earl of Coventry of using up and coming artists, as he did with ‘Capability’ Brown, the National Trust put out a call to all emerging artists to respond to a brief inspired by, Neo-classical architect, interior and furniture designer Robert Adam.

The interiors of Croome were decorated and furnished by some of the leading designers of the period, including Robert Adam who found in the 6th Earl, one of his strongest patrons. The Long Gallery in the house is Adams’ first complete room design, creating everything from the ceiling, plasterwork, mirrors and chimneypiece to the furniture and decorative grisailles. Chris’ aim was to find an innovative way to bring the world famous eighteenth century architect and designer’s work to a new audience.

Involvement in the project would give the selected artist an opportunity to develop their professional skills and to find an imaginative way of presenting Croome’s history to visitors.

Chris Alton was chosen from 10 shortlisted artists and from April has been part of the project, which is supported by Trust New Art. He has collaborated with groups including The Birmingham Institute of Theatre Arts, St Barnabas First and Middle School, Writing West Midlands and Kimichi School. From May, Chris was mentored by international artist Hew Locke.

“This has been a complete new way of working for Croome having an art mentor from the start,” said Kiki Claxton, Croome’s Creative Partnerships Co-ordinator. “Having Hew in this position has been invaluable and I know Chris Alton has valued this throughout the process. Chris has developed as an artist and stretched us as a team at Croome as to what we thought was possible. It is going to be a first for us and an artwork that we will never forget.”

Stimulated by the workshops he ran, Chris Alton, finally designed a Robert Adam inspired treehouse. The treehouse will wrap around one of the cedar trees which stands proudly at the foot of Church Hill in the ‘Capability’ Brown parkland. Being built at a low level it will be accessible to all visitors, including those with impaired mobility, meaning everyone is able to access the structure.

Visitors are invited to come along to the launch day on Saturday 25 November which starts at 12noon with dance performances by Birmingham Institute of Theatre Arts, music by The Sixth Form College Worcester and poetry by Kurly McGeachie. The ‘Adam Speaks – Treehouse’ will officially be opened by international artist Hew Locke at 3.30pm.

The ‘Adam Speaks – Treehouse’ will be available for visitors to experience in the parkland until the end of December 2018.

Croome is open throughout the year. The park and lakeside are open from 10am until 4.30pm and Croome Court is open from 11am to 4pm every day. Disabled parking nearby.