See exhibitions by four Rotherham artists at stately home Wentworth Woodhouse

The private chapel at a South Yorkshire stately home has now become the home for exhibitions created by four local artists.

Monday, 12th October 2020, 12:49 pm

Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, which is regenerating the grand house, has stepped in to support the work of the Rotherham Open Arts Renaissance project (ROAR).

The Arts Council-funded National Portfolio Organisation helps emerging local talent to find an audience and now has a membership of 224 local artists and organisations.

During October the little chapel inside the 18th-century Grade I listed mansion is home to a rolling exhibition featuring artists supported by ROAR.

Kevan Cadman, who is the first artist to have his work on show at the private chapel in Wentworth Woodhouse
Kevan Cadman, who is the first artist to have his work on show at the private chapel in Wentworth Woodhouse

“For centuries the Fitzwilliams filled the house with artworks,” said Trust CEO Sarah McLeod.

"The Trust is continuing that in a much more accessible way, by enabling people from all walks of life to engage with art and by supporting local creative projects.”

“We decided to give four local artists the space and help they needed to stage their first-ever exhibition.

“Our chapel is a place of calm and we thought it was the ideal setting for people to contemplate artworks.”

The first artist to exhibit in the space is former headteacher Kevan Cadman.

Kevan, 61, became a full-time artist in 2018 after retiring as head of school at Roughwood Primary in Rotherham.

Brought up near Firth Park in Sheffield, Kevan was arty from childhood and loved creating things from the spare parts left over after completing Airfix kits.

He studied art and education at university before beginning a teaching career that lasted 37 years, and spanned five Rotherham schools.

“Never being a person to settle on one creative discipline, over the years I produced work under various creative monikers and had a reputation for cultivating creativity in the classroom, inspiring children particularly through the use of digital technologies, film and animation,” said Kevan.

He lives in Whiston and is also a member of local band The Rotherham Rogues.

Kevan added: “I produce anything that falls out of my head and often work with lino printing techniques on pieces inspired by myths, legends and ancient superstitions.

“On retiring I immediately joined ROAR and it’s helped me develop my artistic output.

"I’m now working on 2D and 3D pieces using wood, cardboard and reclaimed materials - even tin cans.”

Kevan’s exhibition will run until October 23, then the chapel interior becomes the domain of the Zanib Collective.

They are a trio of local women art practitioners of Pakistani heritage – visual artist Shaheen Shah, writer and poet Zanib Rasool and Mariam Shah, who is an oral historian.

Their exhibition runs from November 2-27 and exhibitions three and four will take place in 2021.

It is free to visit the chapel exhibitions, which run every Wednesday to Sunday.

To ensure social distancing, viewing takes place in timed slots.

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