‘Blot on the Landscape’ Volunteers, Temple Newsam House, Leeds
Blot on the Landscape is a co-curated, community led exhibition at Temple Newsam House (TNH), situated on the outskirts of Leeds. Local people volunteered to work on the project, alongside Assistant Community Curator, Helen, to research untold stories about mining on Temple Newsam Estate.
The Blot on the Landscape (BOTL) volunteers came together in July 2018 to start working on the exhibition. The group consists of an individual with special learning needs, a former prison governor, university lecturer, former archive assistant and a retired community worker. Together they have brought a richness of experience and expertise to the project and have provided a great source of knowledge linking social history to the country house. The mining exhibition includes decorative mining art, (pottery, sculpture, paintings) mining objects and former miners’ stories.
The volunteers have visited former miners and their families to record stories that Leeds Museums and Galleries would not have had if this project had not happened. This research carried out by the BOTL volunteers and the subsequent exhibition they helped create has opened up Temple Newsam House to new audiences. The exhibition creates a space where mining communities around Leeds, Wakefield, South and North Yorkshire can share their own memories and relate to the history of the mines on the Temple Newsam Estate.
This exhibition space would not have been so effective in bringing the community together if it wasn’t for the tireless efforts of the BOTL volunteers.
This year’s Regional Winners are:
- East Midlands: 1620s House and Garden Volunteers, Leicestershire
- East of England (Joint winners): Jo Foster-Murdoch, Norfolk Heritage Centre & Zowie Sweetland, Whipple Museum
- London (Joint winners): Kindertransport Project Volunteers, Jewish Museum & Strawberry Hill Volunteer Research Group
- North East: Jamie Sample, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
- North West: Nether Alderley Mill Volunteers, National Trust, Cheshire
- Northern Ireland: The Treasure House programme volunteers, Ulster Museum, Belfast
- Scotland: Shetland Textile Museum Volunteers
- South East: Lisa Mundy, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester
- South West: Clifton Suspension Bridge ‘Hard Hat Tour’ Volunteers
- Wales: Plas Mawr Elizabethan Mansion House, Volunteers
- West Midlands: Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust ‘Tunnel Tots’ Volunteers
- Yorkshire: ‘Blot on the Landscape’ Volunteers, Temple Newsam House, Leeds