Contemporary Visual Arts Programme
Mount Stuart is an eclectic, extraordinary Victorian Gothic palace with a diverse eighteenth century landscape. It presents a compelling challenge in relation to interventionary contemporary art practice.
Mount Stuart founded its contemporary visual arts programme in 2001 to promote and facilitate interest in the contemporary arts and bring exhibitions of an international standard to Bute and Argyll. To create potential for a wider audience and new perspectives, it utilises the context of Mount Stuart and the island of Bute as an exciting opportunity for public art work and provides diverse educational opportunities.
Since its inception, the programme has invited artists including Kate Whiteford, Anya Gallacio, Langlands & Bell, Christine Borland, Nathan Coley & Lee Mingwei to exhibit and make new work in response to Mount Stuart and Bute. Commissioned works have included land art, photography, video, film, sculpture and a nomination for the Turner Prize in 2007. Each exhibition enriches the programme and continues a tradition of commissioning new work at Mount Stuart.
In 2017, renowned artist Steven Claydon will be presenting a solo exhibition at Mount Stuart taking place throughout the house and grounds; drawing equivalences between the islands of the Pacific and the Scottish Isles.
Claydons says: 'The wealth of material in the Mount Stuart archives, gardens and buildings forms a formidable arsenal of subject matter that is firmly rooted in Scottish history and politics, religious identity and eclectic architectural vernacular. For me, it is the sum accumulation of these often contradictory details that lend Mount Stuart its potency.'