Surrey Unearthed is an Arts Council funded project that has been developed with artists who have a strong connection and curiosity for the Surrey landscape. The innovative programme of ten projects will run throughout 2018-19. Each project focuses on the natural materials of the Surrey Hills landscape, their history and uses over time. The installations, art walks and community celebrations coincide with the Surrey Hills 60th year AONB designation.
The artists have embedded themselves in key locations. Ackroyd & Harvey explore the geological and social layers at Leith Hill, from tree canopy down to below ground, acknowledging the strong feelings of the local community to threats on this land. Jonathan Parsons explores the geology along the chalk ridge towards a monumental installation in farmland adjacent to the main rail line. Jane Ponsford collects and creates with found pigments travelling along four sections across the AONB. Walter Bailey uncovers the historical process of forest glass incorporating this into a structure at a viewpoint on Farnham Heath. Amanda Loomes reveals the extraction processes in sand quarries in East Surrey with an insightful art documentary. Mary Branson explores the rituals and celebration of farmland with an installation and community celebration at Box Hill.
The established artists are guiding emerging artists bringing a fresh perspective from their widely varied backgrounds. Alison Carlier focuses on the sound element of her research into chalk, Bryn Hallett pushes the boundaries of building with earth and Steven Edwards explores deterioration, fragments and how the material of clay records a narrative of the changing landscape and its history. Amie Rai takes her Travelling Reading Room to locations across the county to engage others in texts about landscape and materials. All the artists are engaging with communities surrounding their locations with workshops, walks and talks.
Surrey Hills Arts is a partnership between Surrey Arts, Surrey County Council and the Surrey Hills AONB. It aims to engage and inspire people in the outstanding natural landscape through an imaginative programme across the arts, promoting heritage, health and tourism. Over the past twelve years, we have delivered innovative landscape projects engaging local communities and developing emerging artists.
Surrey Hills Arts works closely with an advisory group made up of the Watts Gallery, The National Trust, the University for the Creative Arts, Gatton Park Trust, Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden and the Arts Society. Working together we develop the programme for this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Surrey Unearthed is grateful for the partnerships with the following organisations.
As part of Surrey County Council cultural services, Surrey Arts provide a vital role within the community in working with young people, families, schools and other organisations to create inspirational arts experiences; provide high quality music education; develop drama, dance and visual arts opportunities; and provide instruments and costumes to hire.
The Surrey Hills was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1958 and is one of a family of nationally protected landscapes. The organisation develops policies and programmes to protect the Surrey Hills for the safe use and enjoyment of all and throughout 2018 celebrates the 60th year of the designation.