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The Fountain of Happiness – immortality in Tatton’s gardens

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Art work by Portuguese artist Cristina Rodrigues is currently gracing the staterooms of Tatton’s mansion. Thousands of visitors have already admired her fascinating textile work in her latest exhibition Guardian Angels which runs in the mansion until October 4th.

Cristina identified Tatton Park’s mansion as the perfect venue to show case her major exhibition for 2015. Not only does the 200 year old neo-classical style building provide the perfect backdrop to her work, its architecture, interior design and extensive collections are the inspiration for many of her commissions. Much of Cristina’s work is inspired by ordinary working people and the impact they have had on our own ordinary lives.

Cristina has also selected Tatton Park to unveil her most recent artwork The Fountain of Happiness. This magnificent and thought provoking structure stands to symbolise the fountain of life (the elixir of life or immortality). Often referred to as the philosopher's stone, the elixir of life is said to grant eternal life when drunk from a specific cup at a given time.

This spectacular creation has been commissioned to celebrate the lives and career of two of the most significant brand creators and designers in Portugal, Carlos Coelho & Paulo Rocha, whose work has immortalised numerous brands, helping to change the marketing history of Portugal and influence the lives of ordinary working Portuguese. Their lives will be celebrated in an exhibition named The Master Tailor & The Alchemist to take place in February

2016 at the Santa Clara-a-Velha 14th Century Monastery in Coimbra, one of the most important buildings in Portugal.

The Fountain of Happiness is an impressive construction featuring iron chains and bottles used for the famous Portuguese Liqueur, Licor Beirão. This liqueur is one of the oldest traditional drinks in Portugal, using distilled flavours from seventeen herbs and flowers. The piece was inspired by the creative energy of Carlos and Paulo and by the contrasting calmness of the magnificent Cheshire landscape in which Tatton sits. Iron works were once very much in use in English estates and gardens for structures such as gates, garden benches and pergolas.

The Fountain of Happiness was officially unveiled in Tatton’s gardens on Sunday July 19th and there is now a unique opportunity to see this artwork in Britain whilst it remains in the gardens until August 16th. It will then travel to Portugal where it will be exhibited at Museu Amadeo de Souza Cardoso, in the North of Portugal.

Brendan Flanagan, Head of Countryside, Culture and Visitor Economy commented “This will provide a wonderful addition to `Guardian Angels’, extending the exhibition in to Tatton’s gardens – there is no better setting to enjoy the elixir of life!.”

Guardian Angels opened to the public on May 21st and runs until Oct 4th.

Opening times and prices

Guardian Angels can be seen in the mansion until Oct 4th. Open during this exhibition from Tuesday to Sunday 1pm – 5pm, last entry 4pm.   The Fountain of Happiness can be seen in the gardens until August 16th. Open every day 10am to 6pm (last entry 5pm).

Prices for single attraction entry: adult £6, child £4 (aged four to fifteen years of age), family £16 (two adults and up to three children). 

Totally Tatton Ticket (entry to three attractions: mansion, gardens and farm): Adult £11, child (aged four to fifteen) £5.50, family (two adults and up to three children) £27.50. National Trust members pay 50% entry to the farm.  Park entry charge of £5 per car applies to all.

For further information about this release contact:  Vicky Wilby, Marketing Department Tel: 01625 374417 / Email: Vicky.wilby@cheshireeast.gov.uk. www.tattonpark.org.uk

Tatton Park is managed and financed by Cheshire East Council on behalf of the National Trust. This impressive historic estate receives in the region of 800,000 visitors every year all of whom come to enjoy its Georgian mansion, Tudor Old Hall, award- winning gardens and 1930s rare breeds farm.  The 1,000-acre deer park is home to red and fallow deer and the estate also boasts speciality shops, adventure playground, restaurant, Gardener’s Cottage tea room and a year-round events programme.

The Tatton Park Vision The `Tatton Park Vision’ is the park’s 5 year vision for its visitor activities and aims to substantially develop its visitor experience by increasing the attractions and activities on offer. In delivering the vision the aim is to fully realise Tatton Park’s potential and present the best possible experience for its current and new visitors in order to provide new and sustainable income to help manage and conserve the historic estate into the future. This will be done through a programme of investment by Cheshire East Council and the attraction of new business. For more information about the vision visit www.tattonpark.org.uk/vision

About the artist: Cristina Rodrigues was born in Porto, Portugal, in 1980. She lives and works in Manchester and owns art studios in this city and in Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal. She is a chartered architect in both countries and holds an M.Phil in Art & Design from Manchester Metropolitan University. Over the last four years she has lectured at the Manchester School of Architecture and at the Zhongyuan University of Technology, China. She is completing her PhD in Art & Design (with a strong element of art ethnography) at MMU, and she has created and led two major international research projects in recent years, namely ‘DfD – Design for Desertification’ and ‘21st Century Rural Museum’.

Originally inspired by the plight of declining rural communities and the ensuing loss of local traditions, Cristina’s art installations lend an artistic identity to objects which were previously merely functional or even obsolete. She takes them to a new level through her creative expression, with intricate designs, colourful silky ribbons, delicate lace and hand drawn figures from her imaginary. Overall, Cristina’s art celebrates the role of women in society as keepers of cultural traditions. Her art installations tell the combined stories of these women, intertwined with her own impressions of life’s experiences.

Cristina’s art works are a combined product of ethnographic research and art expression intended on celebrating cultural heritage. Her wider message is one of reflection on the value of local traditions and local communities and the role of art in regeneration towards a sustainable future.

Cristina’s motto is ‘Life is about enjoyment. Art is for everyone.’

To view Cristina Rodrigues portfolio of works, visit: http://www.cristinarodrigues.co.uk/works/.