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Cheeseburn Grange welcomes the public to view top artworks

A Northumberland country house is open this bank holiday weekend for people who like to view art in the landscape

Sculpture by Neil Talbot
Sculpture by Neil Talbot

New work by two of our most prominent artists is on show this weekend at Cheeseburn Grange, Northumberland, as the country house again turns sculpture park.

Brothers Neil and Richard Talbot will display new marble carvings and drawings respectively in the Stables Gallery at what, this weekend, becomes Cheeseburn Sculpture.

The work on show is part of a recent commission informed by the First World War centenary but also reflecting Neil’s interest in history, geology and mathematics.

His Fibonacci series explores the relationship between numbers and nature through cast bronze and carved snail forms.

You will have seen Neil’s relief carvings on Newcastle Quayside, opposite the law courts, and also in Felling where, on the corner of Carlisle Street and Sunderland Road, he created a relief carving of a Victorian baker’s shop.

Richard Talbot, who is head of fine art at Newcastle University, describes drawing as “a way of thinking and of bringing together apparently disparate ideas and images”.

On his website he explains: “Through drawing I can start with a gut feeling, a vague thought, a hunch or an idle obervation and can distil and combine these into something concrete.”

Sculpture by Neil Talbot
Sculpture by Neil Talbot

About 10 years ago a marble memorial created by the brothers was dedicated by the Queen at a thanksgiving service in Westminster Abbey.

The piece commemorates all those who served with RAF Coastal Command during the Second World War. It was commissioned by the Maritime Air Trust.

Cheeseburn Grange, near Stamfordham, belongs to Simon and Joanna Riddell.

Cheeseburn Sculpture, developed with art curator Matthew Jarratt, reflects Joanna’s lifelong love of art which, she recalled last year, was “slightly squished” when she was at school because it wasn’t encouraged or taught.

She has made up for lost time by inviting top North East artists, and others from outside the region, to display work in the grounds of the house she and Simon inherited more than 25 years ago.

The first Cheeseburn Sculpture openings were a big success last year when renowned sculptor David Mach was one of the main attractions.

The vision behind Cheeseburn Sculpture is to offer artists the chance to work in the galleries and the landscape, to make those exhibitions accessible to the region’s art lovers and to enhance its reputation as the North East’s home of world class sculpture.

Admission this weekend is free, although donations will be welcome, and refreshments will be on sale.

Appropriate footwear is recommended for trudging around the house’s lovely grounds and no dogs are allowed because of adjacent farmland.

Cheeseburn Grange (postcode NE18 0PT), is open all bank holiday weekend, Saturday to Monday, 11am to 4pm, and then again from May 23-25. Details: www.cheeseburn.com

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