Midas were delighted to be asked by project manager Zoe Bottrell of Culture Creative to provide power generation and distribution for this stunning contemporary art exhibition held in English Heritage’s beautiful Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens in Northumberland.
Extraordinary Measures is a world-class exhibition of contemporary art by leading artists, architects and designers….come to a place where size is off the scale, where the miniscule is made massive, huge surroundings hide surprises and ancient buildings hold something new. Extraordinary Measures will explore and play with the concept of scale, taking visitors of all ages into an Alice in Wonderland world of dark enchantment. Highlights among the specially-commissioned installations include the premiere of new hyper-realistic sculptures by Ron Mueck in the 19th-century rooms of Belsay Hall and photos of tiny day-trippers facing everyday dramas within the gardens of Belsay.
The brief for Midas was an interesting and challenging one, we were asked to power all exhibits within the 14th century castle, the adjoining out buildings and a remote site in the romantic quarry garden. All power generation had to be renewable, all infrastructures (cabling & distribution) had to be concealed and obviously the fabric of the buildings and gardens could not be compromised in any way.
Artist Freddie Robins spun a unique take on the Greek myths with a scene within the crevices of Belsay’s Quarry Garden which tells a tale of some of the most popular Greek myths. To create the scenes, she has used knitted animals and dolls house furniture as well as objects from her own childhood.
The piece needed to be illuminated but being so remote from any power source proved a challenge. The solution was a bespoke flight cased solar panel positioned high out of sight on top of the quarry walls, cabling ran discreetly down the quarry walls then underground to a dimmer pack with a remote control device to allow ease of operation for the installed lighting system.
We dealt with the Castles requirements in a more traditional manner, using a Midas JCB G20QX running on a remote tank, again cabling ran discreetly through the undergrowth gaining access into the Castle via the roof and a conveniently placed chimney. Then down into the Great Chamber powering Mat Collishaw’s latest piece ‘The Garden of Unearthly Delights’ when rotated creates, as if by magic, an animated scene of imps, birds and animals.
The machine also powered Tessa Farmer’s ‘The Den of Iniquity’ an animated film showing a dark depiction of Tessa’s skeletal fairies and their insect friends.