‘People Make Dartington’ exhibition opens

People Make Dartington, a new portrait exhibition from photographer Aubrey Simpson.

The Green Table And The White Hart, Dartington

From mushroom growers to Russian composers: People Make Dartington is a new photography exhibition that asks people working on the historic south Devon estate  ‘How Did You Get Here? ’Printmaker, Baker, Leatherman, Goat Farmer, Composer, Gardener, Stone Carver, Bookbinder… All feature in this stunning portrayal of the lifeblood of Dartington - the people.

The exhibition, People Make Dartington, draws on the lyrics ‘And you may ask yourself, well how did I get here?’, from the song Once in a Lifetime, to tell the stories of the many people who work on the unique south Devon estate.

The exhibition is from 20-year-old, Totnes-born photographer Aubrey Simpson and is on display in two of the estate’s restaurants, The Green Table and The White Hart, from 25 October to 7 December. The free exhibition reveals the unique diversity of the community of individuals and enterprises who call the Dartington Hall estate their home. Simpson investigates particular movements or activities and celebrates notions of individual and collective identities by asking each subject the question: ‘How Did You Get Here?’

To this question, one participant, Vladislav Shoot, who was formerly composer in residence at The Dartington Hall Trust [pictured], said:

In the late 1980s, I lived in Moscow making a living as a composer for the local film industry. Yet my concert works, despite being quite widely performed in the West, were almost ignored in my own country, as I didn’t belong to the official Soviet musical elite. Then, right after the collapse of the Soviet Empire, in what appeared as a crucial moment in my life, all our savings vanished overnight. There was no food in the stores and one had to go onto the street to sell one’s possessions in order to survive.

Unexpectedly, I received a phone call from a publishing house in Germany. They heard my symphony entitled Ex Animo (From the Soul) and, impressed by the music, offered to bring me to Germany or France to work on a new composition for them. Around the same time, I received an invitation from John Lane, Chair of Trustees of the Dartington Hall Trust, to serve as composer-in-residence at Dartington, and with the financial help from the Germany publishers, I and my family landed on Albion’s shores almost 26 years ago.

The Dartington Hall estate is home to 175 independent businesses employing over 1,500 people. Since 1925 enterprise has always been an important part of the Dartington Experiment; creating a community of craftspeople, artists and specialist professionals to regenerate the estate. Potters, textile weavers, furniture designers, glass makers, craftsmen builders, artists, and makers established thriving businesses here and traded locally and nationally and internationally and earned Dartington the reputation as one of the most creative and vibrant communities.

Green Table café, White Hart restaurant, and bar; Dartington Hall estate, TQ9 6EL | 25 October, 6 - 9 pm; exhibition 25 October - 7 December 18






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