Two ambitious new artist commissions responding to Compton Verney's Naples Collection

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, February 27, 2024


Two ambitious new artist commissions responding to Compton Verney's Naples Collection
Naples Gallery 2015 © Compton Verney, photo by Jamie Woodley.



COMPTON VERNEY.- Compton Verney and Unlimited announced two ambitious new artist commissions responding to Compton Verney’s Naples Collection.

The commissions will be developed in response to the theme of the senses over the next year by DYSPLA, a neuro-divergent led award-winning arts studio, and Aaron McPeake, who makes work that integrates physical encounters with the visual imagination, and that often deals with his own experience of sight loss.

These commissions will form a key part of Sensing Naples, a new display of works from the collection that will animate and address the theme of the senses. The display will open on 1 April 2023.

Compton Verney has one of the richest collections of Neapolitan art in the world outside Naples. The Naples collection includes over fifty pieces of fine art and decorative objects, and was amassed by Compton Verney’s founder, the businessman and philanthropist Sir Peter Moores.

Unique in the UK, the Naples collection provides unrivalled insights into the city of Naples and its environs from 1600-1800. Housed through the ground floor of the mansion house, the collection includes Neapolitan view paintings, still lives, religious paintings, portraits, furniture and decorative objects by artists such as Luca Giordano (1634-1705), Francesco Solimena (1657-1747) and Giovan Battista Ruoppolo (1629-93).

Beyond the gallery redisplay and new commissions, wider outcomes of the Sensing Naples project include new research into the collection, an international symposium and the production of enhanced digital content.

Aaron McPeake says “This is a fascinating opportunity which will allow me to expand my practice and ways of working. It is an exciting challenge to balance all the considerations when making work that will sit within a world leading collection of artworks that spans more than two centuries. My hope is that my work, a multi-sensory sculptural piece incorporating lava rock from Vesuvius, will function in a way that beholders will feel has a relevance and fits harmoniously within the collection.”

DYSPLA added “The opportunity to pitch for Sensing Naples was a major turning point for us as Visual Artists…when Unlimited recommended DYSPLA, we felt a sense of being championed. That made a massive difference for us as disabled artists. Our recent work experimenting with time-based technology, sensory experiences such as touch and narrative poetics, all influenced the work we pitched for Sensing Naples. Inspired by Lorenzo Vaccaro’s ‘The Four Continents’ this has the working title ‘The Four Females’ and is a series of poetic holograms that instruct the audience to self touch their way through the four continents.”

Sensing Naples curator Dr Amy Orrock says “We are delighted to be working with Unlimited and the commissioned artists to bring the stories of Naples to life today. Naples has long been perceived as a ‘city of the senses’. By 1600 it was one of largest city in Europe, with visitors struck by the rich and at times chaotic local culture of food, drink, music and dance. The city is also full of geographical wonders, including expansive views of the sea and the smouldering spectacle of Vesuvius, which erupted six times during the c.18th. We hope that the new commissions will bring a different dimension to the display, by helping to unlock aspects of the historic artworks and also encouraging visitors to find new ways to engage with their senses and artistic practice within a gallery environment.”










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