Cottage Cottage

A long-term practice experiment to produce and display contemporary sculpture and installation in an 18th century cottage and garden in Brighstone village, Isle of Wight, UK.

Planning to open 2020 at set times and days to visitors, or by appointment.

Location

Brighstone village is located midway along on the south west coast of the Isle of Wight, which stretches between the Needles in the West, Freshwater Bay, the beaches of Compton, Brook and Brighstone Bay, and onto Blackgang Chine and St Catherine’s Point lighthouse to the east.

In the village, the cottage is tucked away out of sight, but within a stone’s throw of a pub, a thatched newsagent, the village shop, the primary school, the frequently photographed row of National Trust thatched cottages, one of which is the village museum and the village car park.

Cottage History

The cottage is a listed example of a vernacular dwelling that contains a significant proportion of its original fabric. The original plan form of the house survives intact and the history of its use and development can be traced in its fabric and fixtures.

A three-up, three-down, lobby-entrance plan cottage dating to the C18 or possibly earlier, built of snecked clunch (vernacular hard chalk) blocks, local saltstone and brick, with a clay peg tile half-hipped roof.

Internal structural features of particular interest to the project include the ‘staircase in a cupboard’, the through the floor hatch and the inside-outside access add-on larder.

The cottage had previously been in the same local family for at least 100 years with no need felt for utra-modern conveniences, no seamless fitted kitchen or central heating entangled throughout. As such, it is ideal throughout as a space to interact with and experience how the place was constructed and lived in over time.

2018’s Open Weekend

The cottage was secured as a permanent space late April 2018. After several weeks of initial clearance work, it was decided that it would be good to pause and open the place for visitors for a few days ( July 2018).

The interior was set up in ‘studio’ mode, with materials and objects arranged as small starter conversations. The garden was as found, but tamed in parts. A selection of images below:

More images can also be found under Soft Installs at Cottage Cottage.

2019’s Open Day

An Open Day was held on Thursday 20 June to help inform the forthcoming application for change of use of the cottage from residential status to sculpture garden and building open to the public.

Visitors could see the renovation work undertaken to date, find out how a sculpture garden would work, hear about the proposed conservation and landscaping work ahead, ask any questions and give feedback if desired.

Follow work in Progress

Follow Cottage Cottage’s instagram account @cottage.cottage for ongoing progress.

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