75-year anniversary celebrations take flight at Stourhead

By Anita Jaynes on 21 August, 2021

To mark 75 years of the National Trust caring for Stourhead, a community art project titled A thousand feathers is now on display in Stourhead’s world-famous Wiltshire landscape garden. 

A thousand feathers is made up of hundreds of individually crafted feathers produced by members of the Stourhead community and local community groups to symbolise and celebrate how access to nature has benefited the mental and physical health of so many as we emerge from the shadow of the pandemic.

The Palladian bridge and Pantheon at Stourhead, Wiltshire

The team at Stourhead are now inviting members of the public to add their own contributions by making a feather at home using the templates and resources available on the Stourhead website: nationaltrust.org.uk/stourhead, and sending, or taking, them to the property for display as part of the installation in the garden.

The team at Stourhead have worked in partnership with Studio Meraki, a socially engaged arts collective based in Bristol, and Somerset arts and wellbeing charities Creativity Works and Well Wessex, to design and produce the project which will be on display until spring 2022. 

Throughout this year Creativity Works and Well Wessex reached out to local groups, including Heads Up, Chard Watch, The Balsam Centre, Frome College and Dance4Parkinsons, inviting members to creative workshops led by Studio Meraki. During the workshops the groups discussed the ways that green spaces, like Stourhead, have been there for them throughout lockdown and made birds and feathers to symbolise their reflections to become part of the Stourhead 75 A thousand feathers installation. 

Philip Niemand, Stourhead’s General Manager, said, “The Stourhead 75 project sought to capture a snapshot of the special relationship between wellbeing and nature. Events during the pandemic have allowed time for us to reflect on nature’s value. There seemed no better way to celebrate Stourhead’s 75th anniversary than to invite our community to express what it means to them in 2021.”

Philippa Forsey, Creativity Wellbeing Manager, Creativity Works, added,“This has been a fantastic opportunity for so many community groups across Somerset to connect through nature and share the joys of creating together. We’re looking forward to involving more people in this exciting project.”

To find out more about Stourhead’s 75 A thousand feathers installation take visit: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stourhead/projects/stourhead-75-community-art-project

Pictured above: Main image of the A Thousand Feathers Exhibition – Photo Credit National Trust Images, Trevor Ray Hart. Smaller image of Palladian Bridge and Pantheon at Stourhead, Photo Credit, National Trust Images, James Dobson.