When: 3rd – 23rd December 2016
Where: Fenton House and Gardens, Hampstead Grove, London NW3 6SP
£: Daytime admission costs £10 for adults, £5 for children, and free for National Trust members. Evening admission costs £15 for adults (includes complimentary drink)
What is it?
Discover Lives, Loves and Loss at Fenton House in London.
This December, the National Trust’s Fenton House in Hampstead will be transformed by art collective Traces; into an immersive, atmospheric, experience that delves into the intriguing world of the house’s eighteenth-century residents.
Largely unchanged since it was opened to the public by the National Trust in 1953, Fenton House has been described as a country house in the city, sitting at the top of Holly Hill and surrounded by almost two acres of walled gardens.
The house will be adding to its existing treasure trove of collections, with the work of 80 contemporary artists, telling the story of the Gee family for this unique three-week installation. Visitors will be invited to step into the year 1730 as they explore tales of the Gee family; prominent silk and linen merchants who lived at Fenton House in the period.
Wandering through abandoned rooms and unpicking family secrets, visitors will discover the lives, loves and losses of these former inhabitants and their relationships to each other, Georgian London, and the ‘New World’. The story picks up following unexpected family tragedies that create an atmospheric, other-worldly experience, far from the London we know today.
Traces is a community of curators and makers with a reputation for staging some of London’s most imaginative art and design installations, in old and sometimes derelict buildings around the city. With a process rooted in archival research, Traces isolates a particularly eventful phase in the building’s history. Then curates and commissions artists to recreate the objects, stories and people who inhabited it then.
Fenton House, set in the winding lanes of the oldest part of Hampstead, is an elegant seventeenth-century merchant’s house with a treasure trove of fine furnishings, porcelain and art, including works by the Camden Town Group. It is also home to the Benton Fletcher Collection of early keyboard instruments, and has a delightful two-acre walled garden.