SCENE :  A NEW WAY OF LOOKING

Client: The National Trust
Location: The Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire
Status: Built 2016

The Wimpole Estate

A specially-commissioned contemporary artwork to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the great Landscape designer Capability Brown.

Inspired by Brown’s designed landscape as a series of picturesque views, or scenes, this project invites the visitors to Wimpole to follow in the footsteps of Amabel, a member of the Yorke family who immersed herself in the new parkland, and made it the subject of her art.

The installation consists of nine three metre high structures, part easel and part viewing glass, and encourage visitors to explore the North Park and look with an artist’s eye. 

The viewing glass or mirror alludes to a portable drawing aid called a Claude glass which was popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was used by landscape artists and tourists to frame a view.

The viewer held it in their hand at eye level and turned their back on the scene they wished to view, which was reflected in the glass.

Our overscale version works in the same way: each captures a different element of Brown’s landscape design, allowing you to discover the features that make up the whole composition.

Different shaped mirrors and coloured tints have been used to accentuate the different features that are described within. 

We encourage people to use the easels to draw, paint or photograph the landscape. Share your work on Instagram and tag #sceneatwimpole

This project is part of Trust New Art, the National Trust's programme connecting people to our places through contemporary arts, and is match-funded by Arts Council England.