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.
The cottage was secured privately without public funding late April 2018. In September 2019, full planning permission with listed building consent was granted for its change of use from ‘residential’ to a ‘sculpture, art and heritage space open to the public’.
Whilst there is much conservation and landscaping work to do, the intention is to open May 2020 at set times and days of the week to visitors.
Brighstone village is located midway along on the South West coast of the Isle of Wight. A coastline that 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 located at its’ centre, but tucked away out of sight. Found within a stone’s throw of the village car park, the pub, the thatched newsagent, the village shop, the primary school and the frequently photographed row of National Trust thatched cottages, one of which is the village museum.
The cottage is a listed example of a 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 blocks (hard chalk), 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
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.
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