The ‘Know Our Place’ Project #2: Sharing Whitehall

Mon 21-Nov-22

The ‘Know Our Place’ Project #2: Sharing Whitehall

 

We continue our journey through Whitehall Historic House and the ‘Know Our Place’ project, which aims to bring the Tudor building to the present day. The next stage is ‘Sharing Whitehall’ where we’ll celebrate the positive impact and good experiences people have enjoyed.

 

 

You may be ambling up the winding staircase, or browsing the busy event listings, but it doesn’t take long to realise Whitehall Historic House is entirely dedicated to giving back to its community. Supported by a £1.9 million National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) grant, the unique building has offered an overflowing pick n mix of events for people to enjoy, and offered itself as a stage to showcase unseen talent and uplifting organisations.



“The opportunity to display work in the exhibition gave everybody a great boost. It validated the effort that they had put into their work.” - Heather, Sutton South Hello, #UnlockedArt Exhibition

“We wanted to write about our lives in Sutton, and in particular how we each connect to Whitehall - one of the borough’s oldest buildings. The resulting exhibition explores the connection between past and present, amplifying the voices of ordinary women who have lived extraordinary lives. What was most important to us was creating a cohesive body of work that represents Sutton’s diversity, and how we can connect through creatively thinking about spaces such as Whitehall.” - Members of Sutton Women's Network Creative Writers group, Whitehall In Words Exhibition

 

A corner of Whitehall's Tudor Hall adorned with multi-coloured lanterns from Song Gin-Young

A corner of Whitehall's Tudor Hall adorned with multi-coloured lanterns from Song Gin-Young

 

Artistic showcases have often told the stories of people from the area. The ‘A Good Yarn’ exhibition displayed vibrant finger-knitted art pieces, telling the story of refugees and migrants, curated by Samia Tossio (SamiArt). Foundation and BTEC students of The University of the Creative Arts Epsom created the ‘Interruptions’ art display, which pushed Whitehall's exhibition spaces in new directions. And the epitome of artistic expression in a 500 year old house came with ‘Song In Whitehall’. This was a full house takeover by transient multidisciplinary Korean artist Song Gin-Young (송SONG), filling every corner of the house with dream-like lanterns and hand-crafted dolls of historic figures. And the list of contributers goes on and on of groups like Sutton South Hello, Whitehall Youth Panel (consisting of young people from Nonsuch High School for Girls), Sutton Women's Network and more that have brightened the walls of Whitehall Historic House with their passion.



Passively appreciating art isn’t for everyone. For those that prefer more active entertainment, Whitehall Historic House has provided it in spades. It’s rare for there not to be an adventure trail occuring - a scavenger hunt around the building for young children (and those that are young at heart) to explore all the nooks and crannies in the house. Sutton Council’s Cultural Services have made Whitehall Historic House the setting for a great many events from a multitude of professional organisations, many of which contributed to the sell out Summer Programme 2021. It played host for everything from live theatre shows from Head2Head Sensory Theatre, to coding workshops with First Class Coders, to kendo East Asian culture demonstrations with Japan Cultural Activities Sutton.

 

An event in the garden with young children attentively interacting with the speaker

An event in the garden with young children attentively interacting with the speaker

 

Plus, it featured a slew of events with an environmental focus like workshops and family activities from Fast Fashion TherapyGolden Toad TheatreSutton Community Farm and storyteller and musician, Jenny Lockyer. Preserving the future is a key part of Whitehall Historic House. And how it intends to do that is the focus of the next and final article.

 


 

Find out more about Whitehall Historic House and book your place now to visit the building or attend an event.