[Image: Antony Gormley and ‘Two States’ at The Terrace Gallery. Courtesy of Harewood House]
The Terrace Gallery at Harewood House is 25 years old this year. Founded by the current Countess of Harewood, it is a dynamic space that deserves to be much better known. Diane Howse (the Countess) is an artist who, more recently, was also one of the founders of Project Space Leeds where she worked for a number of years. She is an established contemporary artist and this is evident in the Terrace Gallery.
The Terrace Gallery. Work by Sidney Nolan
When Diane arrived at Harewood in 1986 it was before the programme of restoration that saw many of the rooms refurbished and the whole of the roof repaired. In the Sub Hall, later to become the Terrace Gallery, there was an exhibition of Long Case clocks. Soon after, the Gallery was refurbished by Johnny Lister, the Clerk of Works and his team. A new programme of art was set up that would not patronise the audience and that emphasised engagement with the work. The actual space is boarded out creating a white cube, the epitome of a contemporary artspace and a sculptural intervention in itself, located Below Stairs at Harewood House.
Harewood has had a long history with contemporary art: 250 years ago the then YBA JMW Turner, aged 22, painted at Harewood and his paintings still adorn the walls there. Other well-known artists historically associated with the House include watercolourists Thomas Girtin, John Varley and John Piper, and photographer Roger Fenton.
‘Desert Dreamings’ at The Terrace Gallery. Courtesy of Harewood House
The list of artists who have exhibited at the Terrace Gallery over the last 25 years reads like a top 100 contemporary artists list including Sonia Boyce, Kate Davis, Clare Woods, Barbara Rae, Sharon Kivland, Terry Frost, David Hockney, Mark Wallinger, Bill Viola, Andy Golsworthy and Antony Gormley. The latter was here in 2011 with an exhibition entitled Two States, which followed an exhibition earlier that year tracing the journey of Jacob Epstein’s magnificent carved alabaster figure Adam that sits proudly in the entrance hall at Harewood. Many of the artists who have exhibited at Harewood have gone on to be nominated for the Turner Prize including Zarina Bhimji whose focus was gardens and Empire comparing the Alhambra Palace Gardens in Granada, Spain and the Harewood Gardens.
Mark Wallinger at The Terrace Gallery. Courtesy of Harewood House
Work by Bill Viola at The Terrace Gallery. Courtesy of Harewood House
Antony Gormley’s ‘Two States’ at The Terrace Gallery. Courtesy of Harewood House
The Terrace Gallery is situated within the main house at Harewood. Artists often respond to the space in new and innovative ways. Others take their work out of the Gallery and into the house itself. In 2007 M.F.Hussein’s paintings adorned Lord Harewood’s sitting room. Artwork has also expanded into the garden to mingle with the statues and ornamental gardens. Leo Fitzmaurice winner of the Northern Artprize 2011 has three bespoke pieces What Use is a Sign if we Know The Way? in the West Garden which are permanent features of the gardens at Harewood. The spectacular landscape of the Harewood estate lends itself to land art: Diane herself, together with Thomas A. Clark and Andrew Halley, produced Spiral Meadow in 1999 in the walled garden reanimating a part of the garden that at the time was disused and closed to the public. In 2001 artist Kate Whiteford created what appeared to be a large chalk drawing in the shape of a 18th century Chippendale sofa, on the hillside to the south of the House, which was in fact made of cut-out canvas so as not to disturb the historic landscape. In 2010 Kate Davis wrapped a tree, on the other side of the lake, in gold material. This work has been retained and is renewed each year.
Some artists have also used the All Saints Church at Harewood. Clare Woods’ large scale prints shown in her 2013 exhibition The Seven Eggs in the Terrace Gallery referenced the alabaster tomb carvings and Anya Gallaccio transformed the Church itself with her piece using bright red gerbera flowers that were pressed between glass, beautiful at the beginning but more challenging as they rotted over time.
Sir Terry Frost at The Terrace Gallery. Courtesy of Harewood House
The Terrace Gallery is one of Yorkshire’s hidden gems that punches well above its weight and deserves to be part of the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle: Henry Moore Institute/Leeds Art Gallery; Yorkshire Sculpture Park and The Hepworth Wakefield; these spaces, like The Terrace Gallery, show a variety of art mediums including sculpture. I propose a fourth corner to the triangle of three by adding The Terrace Gallery at Harewood and thereby creating the Yorkshire Art Parallelogram!
Currently showing at the Terrace Gallery is Henry Moore in the Arts Council Collection until 2nd November when Harewood will shut for the winter season. In 1986 Moore discussed with the then Earl, the possibility of having one of his sculptures in the grounds of Harewood. He died shortly afterwards and so this plan was never realised. It is therefore somewhat poignant to finally see one of Moore’s sculptures outside Harewood. It was from here the Tour De France departed this summer. In the New Year Harewood is set to exhibit the work of Gaudier-Brzeska in The Terrace Gallery.
Harewood House and The Terrace Gallery is open until November 2nd 2014 and will reopen in April 2015.
For more information on the house and The Terrace Gallery, visit www.harewood.org or contact the house using the details below.
Tel: 0113 218 1010