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Country mansion Cheeseburn Grange throws open its doors to art lovers

Cheeseburn Grange in Northumberland is welcoming in the public this weekend to enjoy sculptures by top artists

David Mach with his Cheeseburn maquette
David Mach with his Cheeseburn maquette

Art lovers are invited to an exhibition with a difference this weekend.

It takes place not in a recognised art gallery but in the grounds of a Northumberland mansion.

Joanna Riddell, who with husband Simon owns Cheeseburn Grange, near Stamfordham, has had a passion for art since childhood and has spent three years developing the idea of hosting public art events.

At a preliminary event in September more than 100 invited guests from the worlds of art and business strolled around Cheeseburn’s landscaped acres looking at sculptural works by notable artists from the region and beyond.

culptural figures by Joseph Hillier
culptural figures by Joseph Hillier

Now it is the public’s turn to explore the grounds and feast their eyes on the sculptures positioned on lawns, on walls and even in trees.

Among the best known artists represented in the exhibition is David Mach whose brick locomotive in Darlington is one of the region’s main artistic landmarks.

A special exhibition of the Scottish artist’s work is also on display in the new Cheeseburn Gallery located in part of the mansion’s 18th Century stable block.

Also on view this weekend is a large David Mach collage, Jesus Walks On Water, which is displayed in Cheeseburn Grange’s Roman Catholic chapel which is still used by local worshippers

Sculpture by Andrew Burton
Sculpture by Andrew Burton

Arts consultant Matthew Jarratt, who has helped Joanna Riddell to realise her vision for Cheeseburn Grange, said the special preview event had been a great success.

“People were surprised, I think, to find much more than they had been expecting,” he said.

“They were very impressed with the gallery space which makes this much more than just an outdoor sculpture park.

“The feedback we received was beyond what we had been expecting because this is still an experiment for us. We’re still very new.”

Some of the sculptors will be present this weekend to chat to visitors and refreshments will be available.

Artworks by Gilbert Ward at Cheeseburn
Artworks by Gilbert Ward at Cheeseburn

Among the artists whose work is on show at Cheeseburn Grange are Joseph Hillier, Andrew Burton, William Peers, Stephen Newby, Heidi Dent, Colin Rose, Daniel Clahane and Sarah Smith.

Matthew Jarratt said some extra works had been added for this weekend’s public opening.

He said new developments included a project involving fine art students from Newcastle University and an exhibition by poet Linda France who spent a year touring the gardens of the world and has also been drawing inspiration from Cheeseburn.

Cheeseburn Grange, which is just east of Stamfordham on the B6342 (postcode NE18 OPT), is open Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 4pm (last admission 3.15pm).


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