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Guardian Angels inspire a fascinating new collection of contemporary art at Tatton

Querubim`Guardian angels’ are set to grace the opulent state rooms of Tatton Park this summer as this popular historic Cheshire estate welcomes outstanding new work from world renowned contemporary artist Cristina Rodrigues.

Portugese based Cristina identified Tatton Park’s mansion as the perfect venue to show case her major exhibition for 2015. Not only will 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.

Cristina’s fascination for the historical past and her passion for this magnificent feat of architecture have inspired the design of her largest and most magical exhibition so far. Her colourful creations will flow seductively through the former family home of the Egertons, enticing the visitor into a mesmerising journey where past and present come together. Cristina has also looked to women in the North West and from her native country of Portugal who have for centuries been the guardians of their homes providing the back bone to hard working families. The exhibition celebrates the role of women in society in general. Her work references the fact that women are the heart of the home and the highly acclaimed use of textiles in her work provides a symbolic nod to this.

Cristina has involved women from varied backgrounds and cultures in making some of her installations. She added “Women carry the cultural legacy in many communities. They are keepers of traditional melodies, stories and local gastronomy. They keep alive oral traditions and ensure these live on by sharing them with younger generations.” 

Many of her commissions will focus on the domestic items of the mansion such as a chair, the dining table and chandeliers. Similar objects have once belonged to everyday common people providing a functional application in their homes. Within Cristina’s exhibition they will take on a new role as pieces of art which will reflect the past and the present by evoking shared memories and offering something new and forward looking.

Cristina Rodrigues is an artist, a chartered architect and an ethnographer, and her art reflects a balanced combination of these three dimensions. Like the top of a pyramid, her talent as an artist is the convergence of her knowledge and experience as an architect and of her fieldwork observations as an ethnographer. Akin to the transformation of a dull toned larvae into a colourful butterfly, Cristina’s art installations are the result of a metamorphosis of bygone objects into exquisite works of art. And her new collection of works are a testimony to her novel concept of creating art out of cultural heritage as a form of regenerating deserted rural areas and building a sustainable future with local communities.

Back at her home in Manchester following winter in her studio in Idanha-a-Nova Portugal Cristina said, ‘'Guardian Angels will highlight the dichotomy between contemporary art expressions and traditional archetypes, while celebrating the myths and legends of Cheshire and women's hand in them. It will also offer narratives from diverse urban settings in 21st century Britain, inviting visitors into a cross-cultural journey through time. When I visited Tatton Park’s Mansion I was delighted by the beautiful and luxurious antiques. As an artist this is a dream exhibition in one of the most beautiful and eclectic mansions in England.”

Brendan Flanagan, Visitor Economy, Culture and Tatton Park manager added “Tatton Park is Cheshire East’s foremost cultural and heritage attraction. For many years Tatton has commissioned or exhibited contemporary work inspired by its wonderful setting and its heritage. It maintains a tradition of innovation and collection started by the Egerton family and will provide a new and fascinating aspect to a visitor’s experience of the Mansion.”

Guardian Angels opens to the public on May 21st and runs until Oct 4th. The exhibition is just one of three art exhibitions taking place at Tatton Park during 2015 as the attraction continues to establish itself as a leading arts venue following the success of art ventures including Tatton Park Biennial and Oneplace. Visit www.tattonpark.org.uk/art

Running in the mansion until May 17th is a WW1 commemorative exhibition by Cheshire Artists Network and Inspired by Tatton, an exhibition of contemporary design and illustration by an outstanding group of young designers and makers from Manchester School of Art.

Mansion opening times and prices

The mansion is open during this exhibition from Tuesday to Sunday 1pm – 5pm, last entry 4pm 

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/