Wednesday, 6 April 2011

To be forever known

News release from Jenna Holmes:
A new sound installation by artist Catherine Bertola, in response to Haworth Parsonage and commissioned by the Brontë Society as part of its Contemporary Arts Programme, will open at the Parsonage  on Saturday 16 April 2011.

Catherine Bertola creates installations, objects and drawings that respond to particular sites, collections and historic contexts. Underpinning her work is a desire to look beyond the surface of objects and buildings, to uncover the invisible histories of places and people as a way of reframing and reconsidering the past. Bertola often draws on the historic role of women in society, craft production and labour.

To be forever known’, is a haunting new sound installation for the Dining Room, that draws on the history of Haworth Parsonage and its famous occupants. Using scientific methods of revealing the resonant harmonies and tones of architectural spaces, Catherine Bertola will ‘capture’ the sounds of the Parsonage. The artist recorded herself reading aloud extracts from the Brontë sisters’ letters. These recordings have been played and re-recorded over and over again into the space, until the words become whispers and the resonances of the room are revealed; the sisters’ thoughts and feelings once again echoing within the walls of the house.

The sound installation will be accompanied by a series of photographs ‘Residual hauntings’ that feature the artist recreating some of the domestic rituals that took place in the house during the Brontës’ time.

To accompany her exhibition, with support from Art in Yorkshire, supported by Tate, Catherine Bertola has also curated a series of three ‘Conversaziones’ to take place at the Brontë Parsonage Museum. Conversaziones were small gatherings held by the Victorians in their homes, to discuss topics of the day. Catherine will recreate this Victorian custom after hours at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, bringing together a series of expert speakers and a small intimate audience to discuss themes relating to the Brontës.


Thursday 12 May, 7pm
Radical Women
Lucasta Miller and Jane Robinson discuss the role of radical women, from the original Bluestockings to the 20th Century suffragettes, who like the Brontës, transcended perceived ideas of femininity.
Jane Robinson is author of Bluestockings: The Remarkable Story of the First Women to Fight for an Education.
Lucasta Miller is a writer and critic, and author of The Brontë Myth.

Thursday 16 June, 7pm
Everyday Lives
Ann Dinsdale and Suzanne Fagence Cooper take us through the domestic rituals of an early nineteenth century household, to discover how the Brontë sisters would have occupied their time outside of writing. Ann Dinsdale is Collections Manager at the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

Suzanne Fagence Cooper is V&A Research Fellow at Buckinghamshire New University, has written several books on Victorian art and culture, and has been a consultant for BBC programmes including What the Victorians Did for Us, and Simon Schama's History of Britain.

Thursday 7 July, 7pm
Between the Lines
Historian and biographer Kathryn Hughes explores how artefacts and historical evidence can help us to access the people and places of the past.

Kathryn Hughes is Professor of Lifewriting at UEA. Her biographies include George Eliot: the Last Victorian and The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton. She is a journalist and critic, regularly writing for The Guardian and appearing on BBC Radio 4.

Tickets are £14 per event and places limited. Bookings: / 01535 640188.

Artist’s Biography
Catherine Bertola was born in Rugby in 1976, grew up in Halifax and studied Fine Art at Newcastle University. She currently lives and works in Gateshead, UK. She has created site specific installations for a variety of sites and contexts, for organisations such as Whitworth Art Gallery (Manchester), V&A Museum (London), Millennium Gallery (Sheffield) and the National Trust. Catherine Bertola has work in several public and private collections and is represented by Workplace Gallery, Gateshead and M+R Fricke, Berlin.

Further Information

Art in Yorkshire, supported by Tate
Art in Yorkshire, supported by Tate is a year long celebration of the visual arts in 19 galleries throughout Yorkshire. Works from Tate’s collection of historic, modern and contemporary art will be showcased through a compelling programme of exhibitions and events. Visit

Personal Tempest
To be forever known forms part of Personal Tempest; a group exhibition curated by Tereza Kotyk, inspired by Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and Thomas Bernhard’s publication Amras which will exhibit at UH Galleries, Hatfield in 2011. An exhibition of Conrad Atkinson’s Emily Brontë-inspired work will be on show at South Square Gallery, Thornton (the Bronte birthplace) from 2 April until 22 May 2011. As well as revisiting Conrad Atkinson’s 1992 installation For Emily, originally commissioned by the Henry Moore Foundation, South Square will also curate previously unseen drawing works which illustrate Atkinson’s fascination with the impulses of the literary mind. Writers William Wordsworth, Emily Brontë and Ted Hughes are represented metaphorically loading shopping trolleys with the components of their inspiration.


Saturday 16 April – Friday 08 July 2011

Museum open daily | 10am – 5.30pm | Last admission 5pm

For further information contact the Arts Officer Jenna Holmes

Telephone:      +44 [0] 1535 640188

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