Category Archives: Saltram House

Poster & Photograph

On 19 May 2014 the group arranged to visit Karst and Saltram House to take some photographs for the exhibition poster.  We decided to use a single antique chair (provided by Jem Williams’) and a set of headphones to give the idea that the work was a sound piece.  Below are some examples of the photographs which Ellena Simpson took:

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Photographs by Ellena Simpson

As a group we decided on a photo which Ellena had taken inside The Orangery.  We felt that it made more sense to use a photograph from of part of Saltram’s grounds instead of Karst Gallery which had no relation to the project.  By using a photo taken of Saltram, it also linked to our proposal regarding sense of place. Ellena produced a draft poster as follows:

Draft poster by Ellena Simpson (spelling of Orangery needs to be amended)
Draft poster by Ellena Simpson (spelling of Orangery needs to be amended)

Discussion with Saltram House Volunteer

During our visit to Saltram House on 19 May 2014 to take photographs for the poster, myself and William Danby (after speaking to Rebecca Wickes) took a look around the actual house to get a better understanding of the history of Saltram.  While walking around the kitchen area, we noticed that there was paper on the worktop with suggestions people had made on what they would like to see in the kitchen space.  We spoke to Francis Williams one of Saltram’s volunteers regarding this and he commented that Saltram were interested in “bringing the place to life” for visitors with suggestions on how “it could be made more exciting” i.e. having the smell of bread cooking or volunteers dressed in period costume (Williams, 2014).

Visitor Suggestions: Permission from Volunteer granted to take photograph. Photograph by Helanie Moore
Visitor Suggestions: Permission from Volunteer granted to take photograph. Photograph by Helanie Moore

He also mentioned that Saltram House “used to play baroque music in the dining room” (Ibid).  This was particularly interesting to us as we could possibly find out the actual music that was played and use it in our sound piece.  Furthermore, it was interesting to hear that people want to have a more all round experience and this linked very well to our own project of wanting the audience to not only consider the visual beauty of Saltram but also the other sensory experience of sound.


Williams, F. (2014) H. Moore’s notes taken from a conversation with Frances Williams, Volunteer at Saltram House on 19 May 2014.

Sound Recording

Group members met with Olly Wickes and students of DBS at Saltram House on 29 May 2014 to take sound recordings.  Unfortunately I could not attend but Ellena Simpson updated the rest of the group as follows:

The collaboration will be run between us, Olly and DBS student called Sam Ware (other students could not commit because of the time of year or were not reliable and didn’t show!).

All sound recordings have now been produced.

Sam is going to research into appropriate classical songs, possibly relating to the era of the building. He will also look into Baroque.

Sam is free to commence with mixing next week, and is keen for us to join him in the studio. (Simpson, 2014)


Simpson, E. (2014) Facebook Group: Saltram Exhibition [online]. Available at: (accessed 03/06/2014)

Plan of Action

On 28 May 2014, Ellena Simpson had expressed her concerns that we were running short of time with regard to the project and because we had our last assessment in the next few days and summer show, we were not making The Orangery Exhibition our priority.  I advised Ellena that I would write up a plan of action and post on Facebook as follows:

1. Need TITLE for exhibition urgently so that poster and press release can be sent this week to Rebecca (at least she will have all info when she eventually responds)… I later suggested the title Synaesthesia 
(the production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body)

2. If Rebecca does not reply ref poster/press release, confirm if ok to go ahead with Edith and print a couple of posters (one could be placed in studio 11 for summer show). Poster printing costs £6-8each in creation. Also email Jake May in college marketing with press release.

3. Meet with Olly ASAP to sound record at Saltram and discuss other audio to be mixed in i.e. classical music – baroque? and possible recording of Janine Rook reading passage from Morley/Austin letters? Students met with Olly Wickes on 29 May 2014

4. Chase up insurance.  Edith later received confirmation that we would not have to pay for additional insurance for equipment.

5. Make sound boards – these need to be designed, priced up and made – will not be able to use studio 11 but between us I think we have plenty of tools etc – sunny day building in garden it is!

6. Source free/cheap furniture.

Press Release

On 15 May I was nominated by the group to draft up the press release for The Orangery exhibition.  I shared this with the group on our Facebook page and also emailed our tutor Edith Doove:

Title, 2014
Art Exhibition

The Orangery, Saltram House


Plymouth College of Art BA (Hon) Fine Art, Critical and Curatorial Practices third year students are delighted to present a new body of work in The Orangery, Saltram House. The exhibition aims to encourage the visitor to reflect on Saltram’s stunning environment by considering the auditory ambience of the historic grounds.

In collaboration with students of the music production centre Deep Blue Sound Ltd the main featured work will comprise of a contemporary sound piece to compliment the ground’s timeless landscape. By combining audio recordings of Saltram’s natural surroundings with classical music and relevant literary spoken text the artists hope to provide the visitor with an inclusive sensory experience – evoking ideas of escapism, aura and place.

?names of students?

?private performance event?

Equipment costs

On 19 May 2014 Olly Wickes emailed Ellena Simpson regarding the equipment hire:

Email to Ellena Simpson from Olly Wickes. Image by Ellena Simpson
Email to Ellena Simpson from Olly Wickes. Image by Ellena Simpson

As the email states, the cost of hiring the equipment for the duration of the exhibition (6 weeks) was £635 + VAT.  This was a huge shock to the group, as we did not foresee this and certainly didn’t get the impression from our earlier meeting with Olly that the hire costs would be this much.

After discussing this with our tutor Edith Doove and Neil Rose, Ellena replied to Olly’s message to advise that we could not afford to hire the equipment but could try to source alternative equipment from PCA’s ERC department.  Neil Rose advised that the ERC had 8 rocket speakers which may be available to hire.  I visited the ERC and spoke to Luke Broadway regarding this on 20 May 2014 and he advised that this should be ok but he would need confirmation from Edith Doove and we would probably not have access to the speakers until after the Summer Show had finished by 20 June 2014.

Following Ellena’s email, Olly replied with the following response on 22 April 2014:

Email from Olly Wickes regarding equipment hire and Email from Edith Doove regarding insurance. Screenshot taken from
Email from Olly Wickes regarding equipment hire and Email from Edith Doove regarding insurance. Screenshot taken from

The fact that we could now hire the equipment free of charge subject to insurance and promotion of DBS was fantastic news.  Furthermore, following Edith’s Doove’s message to Mark Taylor, Director of Finances and Resources at Plymouth College of Art regarding insurance, she received a response saying that we would not need to pay for the insurance either.  This was a huge relief for the group as we had very little personal funds to put toward the project and needed to source furniture and make sound boards for the piece.



Meeting with Olly Wickes, Deep Blue Sound

On 9 May 2014 the group met with Olly Wickes of Deep Blue Sound to discuss our ideas regarding The Orangery exhibition at Saltram House.  He seemed extremely interested in the proposal which Reiss Portman had drafted up and thought that a few DBS students would definitely want to be involved with producing a sound piece for the exhibition.

He also advised us that DBS would be able to provide equipment but there would be a small charge for this.  We advised Olly that we had no funding but would be happy to individually put some money toward the project.  With regard to equipment, he said that DBS had some small white speakers which would be fairly subtle within the space but we also discussed placing them inside plinths for security and aesthetic reasons.

After collating all the information including dates etc, Olly advised that he would get back to us with regard to the costs of hiring equipment etc.