Cornelia Parker has just given ten of her Brontëan Abstracts works to the Brontë Society. “This is a very significant donation,” Andrew McCarthy, Deputy Director of the Parsonage, told this blog. “We are all very thankful, of course.
“The opening of Cornelia Parker’s exhibition launched the first-ever Contemporary Arts Programme at the Museum, with Germaine Greer as our Honorary Patron. We could now be considered as a vibrant creative centre as well as a world centre for Brontë studies.
“It marks a historic shift in the identity of the Society and the Museum and offers the potential for exciting partnerships with prominent individuals and organisations within the arts.
“It should lead to a revitalising development of the Museum’s collection and its physical environment, and new audiences.
“The Programme will also help the Society and the Museum to more fully reflect the radical creative energies of the Brontës by adding to a traditional reputation for conservation and commemoration of the Brontës with a new role as advocates for imagination, creativity and artistic achievement.
“There is much that is already happening, and the plans for 2007 are exciting.
“The programme of special education projects aimed at disadvantaged groups will (funding permitting) continue with The Collecting Place. This will involve working with photographer Simon Warner and a group of visually-impaired youngsters. A walk-in camera obscura will be constructed and used to create large-format images of the Parsonage and other Brontë-related sites. This will form the basis of an exhibition.
“There will also be talks by Gaskell biographer Jenny Uglow (celebrating the anniversary of the publication of Life of Charlotte Brontë), Pamela Norris, author of Words of Love: Passionate Women from Heloise to Sylvia Plath, Gail Nina Anderson from the Friends of the Laing Gallery (on John Martin), biographer and novelist Victoria Glendinning (on writers and their homes) and a panel discussion focusing on Brontë biography which will feature Juliet Barker, Rebecca Fraser, Lyndall Gordon, Edward Chitham and Justine Picardie.
“The work we are doing is groundbreaking, I think.”
Below: Germaine Greer