by on June 28th, 2021 in Artists, blogs, news, News and Blogs

Ingestre Orangery launches its contemporary Art Programme ‘Pleasure Ground’ addressing the site’s history through three contemporary artists’ residencies and an exhibition event. 

The project is funded by Arts Council England and delivered in partnership with Haarlem Artspace.

Pleasure Ground Residency and Event.

Adam Moore, Verity Birt and Ama Josephine Budge. 

The Orangery, Ingestre, Stafford ST18 0RE

23rd October project evening launch event

11th November – Online Symposium chaired by Art and Ecology expert Anna Souter. 

Ingestre Orangery open their contemporary art programme with a new online and gallery exhibition event: Pleasure Ground opening on 23rd October. From ancient Britain through our colonial past to our present Adam Moore, Verity Birt and Ama Josephine Budge engage with the Orangery site using pleasure as protest, movement practices and archeological digging to investigate and interpret this site of multiple imported identities, show, and pleasure.

Gavin Repton will film the artists on residency who may produce sculpture, drawing, sound, video, photography or text works. This will culminate in an indoor and outdoor public event with the film premier, and an online symposium to follow.

Pleasure Ground will use the building and grounds to showcase the unique historical space drawing new contemporary art audiences to The Orangery and opening up the building’s history in new ways. The Orangery is setting out to explore all parts of its history and opens the site to artists now and in future to continue to interpret, explore and be inspired by any part of its history, providing fertile ground for artists to develop work. Contemporary art offers a platform in which sites like The Orangery, Ingestre can deal with identity, politics, and history with honesty and creativity, whilst creating work that helps shape inclusive futures.

Exoticism, Orientalism, Colonialism and pleasure are all themes pertinent to The Orangery, Ingestre, and under close scrutiny in British contemporary culture at the moment in the spirit of Hannah Arendt’s statement “When the facts come home to roost, let us try at least to make them welcome, let us not try to escape into some utopias—images, theories, or sheer follies.” The National Trust recently published their ‘Interim Report on the Connections between Colonialism and Properties now in the Care of the National Trust, Including Links with Historic Slavery’.  Pleasure Ground will consider these contexts but will be led by the artists’ creative processes and rather than directed by the institution or the curator. Olivia Punnett, curator of Pleasure Ground said, “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with such incredible artists and an institution that is so open to looking at its history and creating space for artistic process. The residencies sit in these contexts, but I wanted them to be artist led and not governed by them”  

The project asks what role these spaces have served and what relevance they have today; with local and global ties, how these traditional spaces can be used for positive change; becoming inclusive and creative spaces for sharing and celebrating pleasure now?

Meet the Artists

Adam Moore is an English- St Lucian, transdisciplinary Artist and curator, born, living, and working in the regenerated east-end of London. Adam explores multiculturalism, unity, and resilience, negotiating variant ephemeral (and durational) activity.

Adam finds more artful ways of living through experimental collaborations and collective exchanges across cultures, identities, and experiences; Dancing across drawing and painting, moving image, installation, text, sound, and sculpture, generating new relationships between process and form, inviting others into new ways of perceiving and connecting, entailing a deeper synthesis of experience.

Adam gestures towards and through scintillating Blackness, Queerness, and Faith, creating new realities and thawing frozen institutions; valuing the privilege of learning what it means to be human, and how this is embodied and reconfigured, in socially engaged, environmental, and more than natural, physical, and rational relations.

Verity Birt (b.1989) is a funded, practice-based PhD researcher at Northumbria University and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (BxNu) in Newcastle. She has an MA from the Royal College of Art (2015) and BA from Goldsmiths University of London (2011). Situated in intersectional Feminism, Birt’s practice of writing, performance, sculpture, sound and film-making seeks to materialise enchanted encounters and meaningful intimacies between each-other and the more-than-human world. Her PhD is currently titled: ‘Re-enchanting the World; a Feminist Sympoiesis’ and experiments with collaborative processes of making-with, in search of a recuperative and reparative aesthetics.

Ama Josephine Budge is a Speculative Writer, Artist, Curator and Pleasure Activist whose praxis navigates intimate explorations of race, art, ecology and feminism, working to activate movements that catalyse human rights, environmental evolutions and troublesomely queered identities. Ama is the recipient of the 2020 Local, International and Planetary Fictions Fellowship with Curatorial Frame (Helsinki) and EVA International (Limerick). Her research for this fellowship: Pleasurable Ecologies – Formations of Care: Curation as Future-building is an in-depth exploration of decolonial and intersectional curatorial care practices. The research acknowledges the entire ecosystem of socio-historical politics involved in curating contemporary art and cultural production. Ama is also a member of Queer Ecologies 2020, initiator of the Apocalypse Reading Room project and Lead Artist on the MycoLective project with Chisenhale Studios and Feral Practice.

Ama’s fiction has been published internationally including by Anathema Spec from the Margins, The Architectural Review, The Feminist Review, Consented Magazine and more. She is working on her first book: a speculative duology. Ama’s installation works have been commissioned / exhibited by Casco Art Institute (Utrecht), Ankur Arts (Glasgow) and Other Futures Festival (Amsterdam). Ama is the co-founder of The Batty Mama queer black club & performance night, and initiator of Self Love and Ecstasy pleasure collective (aka SLAE). SLAE works to invoke power, pleasure, and healing with breath, touch and trust for self, community and planet. SLAE manifests predominantly with and for QTIABPOC (queer, trans, intersex, a-gender, Black, people of colour).

The Ingestre Orangery: Heritage Pod Development - This project is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development