During the development phase of the project to restore Sandycombe Lodge and to explore diverse ways of creating attractive experiences for visitors, Turner’s House Trust has run a number of artists’ workshops and art events for children, and has hosted a number of exhibitions. We have also had two artists in residence, Michael Coldman in 2013 and Katie Sollohub, who received Arts Council England funding for her residency, in 2014-15. We have developed a number of partnerships with schools and higher education organisations, with other heritage sites and with disabled groups, and our programmes will be developed during 2016-17, with the appointment of our Activities & Interpretation Officer in the spring of 2017.
We have many rich themes to explore: Turner’s paintings of the Thames Landscape which gave him so much inspiration, his desire to be his own architect at Sandycombe Lodge, his quiet life at Sandycombe with his father as housekeeper and general factotum, and the friends who visited him. Further themes to explore will include researching the later owners of Sandycombe, and the gradual erosion of Turner’s once large rural plot of land as the suburbs developed. Many more ideas will present themselves as the learning programmes get under way.