Orford Ness

09 March 2012

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Lighthouse at Orford Ness, Suffolk. Copyright © Orford Ness National Nature Reserve.Lighthouse at Orford Ness, Suffolk. Copyright © Orford Ness National Nature Reserve.

The National Trust at Orford Ness continues to work with a diverse range of artists to reinterpret this enigmatic site.  This year Jane and Louise Wilson will create a visual installation on the remote shingle spit that will resonate with the work of musician Arnie Somogyi and writer Robert MacFarlane.  Together, the works will immerse and engage visitors in the unique landscape and soundscape of Orford Ness, both in an impressionistic and very direct way.  A combination of sculpture, musical composition, improvisation and the real-time sounds of Orford Ness will work in conjunction with literary and artistic narration to create an evolving and attuned dialogue that captures the rare spirit of this constantly-changing, evocative and remote location.

Military testing lab at Orford Ness. Copyright © Orford Ness National Nature Reserve.

“Artists, musicians and writers who have previously worked on and responded to Orford Ness National Nature Reserve include Marvin Ayres, Dennis Creffield, David Gentleman, Sir Andrew Motion, Emily Richardson, W G Sebald, John Wonnacot, Louise K Wilson and numerous others.  It was recorded as the site of miracles by the 16th century physician John Caius, was mentioned by Daniel Defoe and painted by J M W Turner.  The spit’s central place in the landscape that inspired Benjamin Britten was a key factor in the National Trust’s decision to acquire the remote and mysterious stretch of coastline, to care for it forever and for everyone.


Post by Duncan Kent, The National Trust’s Countryside and Visitor Experience Warden at Orford Ness National Nature Reserve.

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