Bivouac designed this exhibition for English Heritage at Brodsworth Hall and Gardens. The exhibition, Liberty and Lottery is named after two slave ships part-owned by one of Brodsworth’s previous owners, Peter Thellusson, who amassed considerable wealth through financial dealings which were heavily connected with the transatlantic slave trade, including financing plantations.

Brodsworth Hall (image © Sarah K Jackson)

Brodsworth Hall (image © Sarah K Jackson)

The exhibition features five specially commissioned wire sculptures created in response to Brodsworth Hall, by renowned carnival artist Carl Gabriel. They interpret themes including the voyage of the Lottery, plantations, inheritance, knowledge and memory. Interpretive panels are placed near the sculptures to interpret the themes and their relevance to Brodsworth Hall.

A trail throughout the ground floor highlights objects and interior features associated with or linked to the transatlantic slave trade. This culminates in a display exploring contemporary attitudes towards the slave trade and colonialism through the books in Brodsworth’s collection, displayed in the library.

The design scheme makes use of angles and lines that cut through and bind elements together, like the twisted wires in Carl’s sculptures.

Sculpture and panel in the entrance Hall (image © Sarah K Jackson)

Sculpture and panel in the entrance Hall (image © Sarah K Jackson)

The magnificent mahogany staircase (image © Sarah K Jackson)

The magnificent mahogany staircase (image © Sarah K Jackson)

A site-specific poem by award-winning Malika Booker is displayed in the dining room of the hall. Her poem, Songs of Mahogany, considers the use of luxurious tropical hardwoods throughout the hall. A huge typographic tablecloth, printed to natural linen is placed over the table in the Dining Room, its angled text reflecting the rhythmic words of the verse. Other verses are placed around the room on the mahogany furniture.

Printed to natural linen, the typographic tablecloth in the Dining Room makes a bold statement

Printed to natural linen, the typographic tablecloth in the Dining Room makes a bold statement. Lines connect and cut through the text

Printed tablecloth in the Dining Room (image © Sarah K Jackson)

Printed tablecloth in the Dining Room (image © Sarah K Jackson)

Printed tablecloth in the Dining Room (image © Sarah K Jackson)

Printed tablecloth in the Dining Room (image © Sarah K Jackson)

The natural qualities of the fabric enhance the raw message of the verse

The natural qualities of the fabric enhance the raw message of the verse

The angled text is designed to be read from the end, or form the long edge of the table, as visitors move around it

The angled text is designed to be read from the end, or form the long edge of the table, as visitors move around it

A lightweight banner hangs from the picture rail in the Dining Room, introducing the poem by Mailka Booker (image © Sarah K Jackson)

A lightweight banner hangs from the picture rail in the Dining Room, introducing the poem by Mailka Booker (image © Sarah K Jackson)

Interpretation panels are placed on the mahogany furniture in the Dining Room

Interpretation panels are placed on the mahogany furniture in the Dining Room

Interpretation highlights luxury commodities that the family enjoyed, made possible by the trade in enslaved workers.

Interpretation highlights luxury commodities that the family enjoyed, made possible by the trade in enslaved workers (image © Sarah K Jackson)

The lifestyle and surroundings of the Hall’s owners was a stark contrast to the experiences of the enslaved people

The interpretation in the Library is on ‘shelf hangers’, which are placed alongside the books they discuss. The hangers are designed to be moveable, having no fixings or impact on the fragile books of shelves, and they are held in place by the weight of the books themselves.

Shelf hangers in the library are printed to lightweight acrylic and are designed to have the minimum impact on the shelves and books. They are placed next to the books they discuss

Shelf hangers in the library are printed to lightweight acrylic and are designed to have the minimum impact on the shelves and books. They are placed next to the books they discuss

The shelf hangers are kept in place by the weight of the books themselves

The shelf hangers are kept in place by the weight of the books themselves

External panel in the gardens (image © Sarah K Jackson)

External panel in the gardens (image © Sarah K Jackson)

A detail of 'Plantations' – a wire sculpture by Carl Gabriel

A detail of ‘Plantations’ – a wire sculpture by Carl Gabriel

An external interpretation panel, placed within sight of the sculpture, interprets the theme and its relevance to the Hall

External interpretation panels, placed within sight of the sculptures, interpret the themes and their relevance to the Hall

The sculptures are placed on existing stone plinths, that were empty in the gardens

The sculptures are placed on existing stone plinths, that were empty in the gardens, giving them prominence and prestige

A hot planting scheme in the gardens reflects the caribbean themes of the exhibition

A ‘hot’ planting scheme in the gardens reflects the Caribbean themes of the exhibition

The planting scheme reflects the content of the exhibition (image © Sarah K Jackson)

The planting scheme reflects the content of the exhibition (image © Sarah K Jackson)

external panel

External panels are placed in borders. The colour scheme is attractive and easy to read, yet does not detract from the artworks themselves

A map was created to orientate visitors and locate artworks around the grounds

A map was created to orientate visitors and locate artworks around the grounds

A detail of a sculpture by Carl Gabriel, of a plantation house set against the facade of the old Hall

A detail of a sculpture by Carl Gabriel, of a plantation house set against the facade of the old Hall

Sculpture in the gardens. Some plinths in the garden were empty, so they are used as bases for Carl's work

Sculpture in the gardens. Some plinths in the garden were empty, so they are used as bases for Carl’s work (image © Sarah K Jackson)

The Lottery. Sculpture by Carl Gabriel

The Lottery. Sculpture by Carl Gabriel

Big thanks to Quarmby Colour for the print and production of the internal panels and tablecloth (and for all the ironing!). External panels were printed and installed by Rivermeade Signs.