Ai Weiwei at Blenheim Palace 1 October - 14 December
29 September 2014
Blenheim Palace has launched the Blenheim Palace Art Foundation, founded by Edward Spencer-Churchill, son of the Duke of Marlborough. An avid art collector, he has enlisted curator and consultant Michael Frahm to direct the arts programme which starts with celebrated Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.
The artist, who is not able to leave his homeland of China, collaborated with Blenheim Palace via a 3D model to show more than 50 new and existing works throughout the palace and its grounds.
We went along to the opening on Sunday and discovered an exciting and provoking installation. The artworks are peppered throughout the palace, both intriguing and challenging visitors with their playful juxta positioning with the palace interiors. In the bedroom where Winston Chrurchill was born, a pair of wooden handcuffs lie at the foot of the bed, whilst a coat hanger profile of the artist Duchamp hangs on the wall, mingling amongst old tapestries and watercolours. In ‘Circle of Animals’, the golden heads of Zodiac animals line the dining room like a small army keeping watch over the grand dining table.
The foundation aims to ‘give the greatest number of people access to the most innovative contemporary artists working today’. To the art follower it’s a treasure hunt to spot the Ai Weiwei pieces, to the general public it’s an intriguing introduction to the artist’s work.
A family friendly experience, our seven year old daughter loved hunting for the works around the grounds, particularly those in the Secret Garden.
Ai Weiwei at Blenheim Palace 1st October – 14th December
Kate Jones, Business Development Director
Image: Kate, Matt and Coco Jones outside Blenheim Palace