Historic Houses announces 2021 art competition winner, Clare Charnley.
Congratulations to Clare Charnley, the winner of Historic Houses’ 2021 Summer Art Competition, for her work, ‘Fingernails’. Our Co-Director Eleanor Wang sat on the panel of judges, who discussed each artwork submitted in depth before coming to a unanimous decision on a winner.
Made in response to Temple Newsam House, Leeds, the work draws on themes of labour and the ongoing role of physical making in historic houses.
“When I first saw this piece by Clare Charnley I was a bit taken aback, thinking they were perhaps real nails. The grittiness and visceral reaction it prompts is probably one of the main reasons I chose it. It goes without saying that a historic house takes a lot of looking after, both in terms of general maintenance, as well as the narrative it presents to visitors. I think this thoughtful piece of painting and sculpture encompasses this and encourages us to think about all the work that happens behind the scenes, essential to keeping a historic house functioning. The unusual choices of materials evoke stories of labour and everydayness. I love how this piece, although not a stereotypically ‘beautiful’ render of a historic house and its gardens, paints it own picture of the people and actions that support the beauty.”