Anya Gallaccio 14-18 Now/Aldeburgh Festival,Orford Ness & Snape Maltings

Orford Ness and Snape Maltings, Suffolk, Suffolk
6/13/2014 - 6/29/2014


Anya Gallaccio at her photo installation at Orford Ness, Suffolk. Photo c Heather Waddell.

Anya Gallaccio has created an unusual set of photo installations, inspired ny experiments in aerial photography and air bombing tests that were used in World War 1 at Orford Ness in Suffolk. She chose a pebble from Orford Ness and smashed it, then examined it under a microscope, followed by blowing the results up into a large series of panels; five at Orford Ness and four at Snape Maltings, as part of the Art at Aldeburgh Festival season. The setting on Orford Ness is quite spectacular and special trips are organized by SNAP 2014 with the National Trust. www.aldeburgh.co.uk or phone 01728 687110. Orford Ness is also open to the public from Ist July five days a week 10-2pm by boat from Orford harbour. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/orfordness

    Orford Ness was the site of aerial bombing experiments in the 20th century and the land was owned by the government and Ministry of Defence until 1993. BBC World Services used satellite radar at a large grey building there until 1993. The entire site is of course full of danger, except the roads to and from Gallaccio's installations. They are large panels set at a tilt, with grey and white detailed objects based on the smashed pebble from Orford Ness. The Black Beacon where two are based has been renovated and inside there are details about the military projects in the 20th century. From it you can see the lighthouse which protects ships at sea off that coast. To the north is Aldeburgh and Snape Maltings where the second part of the installation is based, during the Aldeburgh Art Festival. There is a new production this year of "Owen Wingrave" in mid June by Neil Bartlett. 

Lily Hunter Green's " Bee Composed" sound installation at Snape Maltings. photo c Heather Waddell

Snape Maltings from the marshland.

    Snape Maltings needs little introduction to music aficionados, but SNAP only started in 2011. Sarah Lucas, Abigail Lane, Michael Craig-Martin and even Ryan Gander all have houses in the area and they discussed with the Aldeburgh Festival the possibilities of this art festival. The last three have been of group shows by Suffolk artists and this year it is only the Anya Gallaccio exhibition. Next year it will be a group show again. Gallaccio is well known in the art world and has just had an exhibition at her art gallery in Los Angeles. She was at art school with Abigail Lane and is one of the YBAs ( Young British Artists) and has been a nominee for the Turner Prize. She may be again for this installation? The Snape Maltings tilted photo panels are set in the marshes beyond  Snape Maltings. Nearby Barbara Hepworth's sculptures are on a lawn and Sarah Lucas's horse and cart, in a mock 1970s ornament style, are further into the marshland. There is also a Henry Moore sculpture and he apparently gave Britten sculptures to auction to help funds in the early days of Snape Maltings. The complex of barns and outbuildings is fascinating, with various shops, cafés and a restaurant inside, which has views over the marshes and of Gallaccio's photo panels. Lily Hunter Green's " Bee Composed" is an unusual installation with a piano that plays as bees drone from a working bee-hive. Pollen from flowers nearby are used by the bees inside the replica piano. Hunter Green is a contemporary composer and this sound installation is appropriate for the Music Festival and the current topical issue about bees disappearing at present. The bees' actions will be unpredictable throughout the festival, thereby adding a touch of uncertainty to the sound installation.

Heather Waddell

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