|Visit||3 May - 27 July 2014||Twickenham|
Valena Tzvetanska (Valena Lova) Mademoiselle Cuckó
(© Valena Tzvetanska (Valena Lova) Mademoiselle Cuckó)
As part of the Georgian Festival 2014, exhibitions and events are taking place across Richmond upon Thames in partnership White Lodge Museum, English Heritage, Historic Royal Palaces, Garricks Temple, Turner’s House Trust, and artsrichmond. As part of the Festival, the New Georgians exhibition at Orleans House Gallery commemorates the tercentenary through a display exploring the life and local links of Queen Caroline of Ansbach (1683-1737), wife of King George II. Queen Caroline lavishly dined in the Octagon Room on a visit here in 1729. Her husband’s mistress, Henrietta Howard, lived at the nearby Marble Hill House.
The main focus of the exhibition is contemporary artwork from across the UK submitted via open submission. Artists explore the impact and relevance of 18th century history, society, ideas, culture and styles in the 21st century. Alongside reverent homages and playful pastiches are genres and media revolutionised and popularised in the 18th century, including botanical art, landscapes, portraits, prints and ceramics.
Costume, accessories and the representation and roles of women are also popular themes - which is fitting as the exhibition honours Queen Caroline, who possessed great intellect, culture, personal charm and political influence. In her husband’s absences, she acted as Regent or Protector of the Realm.
Also on display are works created for the exhibition by the gallery’s artist in residence Michael Coldman. His constructions made from found, recycled and second hand objects are transformed into three dimensional scenes examining Georgian life and Queen Caroline and her Court. These often humorous works are complemented by a choice selection of 18th century caricatures by British artists Hogarth, Smith and Gillray from the Richmond Borough Art Collection.
Gallery open: Tuesdays - Saturdays 1.00-5.30pm, Sundays 2.00-5.30pm