‘The Role of Curator & Artist’ by Peter Sharpe & Nick Coombe

Peter Sharpe: Curator to the Kielder Partnership

The unique role that Peter Sharpe provides as curator for Kielder Partnership has been hugely influential in setting out and maintaining a well-defined artistic vision for their Art and Architecture programme. The Minotaur Contemporary Maze is one of the latest additions to this exciting visual arts initiative that has already established thirteen pieces of artwork throughout Kielder Water and Forest Park, including the award winning Kielder Belvedere by Softroom and the highly acclaimed Kielder Skyspace, by American artist, James Turrell. A programme of temporary works recently commenced with Nathan Coley’s Italian Tower, an unusual but elegant addition to the north shoreline of Kielder Water.

The Kielder Partnership were short listed for RIBA Client of the Year at the 2004 Stirling Awards, with the Minotaur Maze also honoured for its excellence in design. The jurors praised the commitment of the Kielder Partnership to making projects that bring art and architecture together whilst developing the area as a major sustainable tourism resource.

Nick Coombe: Architect with Stickland Coombe

Architect Nick Coombe, considers that a maze isn’t just the archetype seen in historical or architectural terms but that many things in modern life are mazes as well – such as a dense forest or a tax return. Working collaboratively with artist Shona Kitchen, he is responsible for the creation of the £125,000 Minotaur Maze completed as the latest part of the Kielder Art and Architecture. The maze is constructed from gabions filled in the main with the dark local Whinstone and in the central chamber with irregular lumps of turquoise glass, and complements the two other major permanent works – Belvedere and Skyspace. The winning design was selected by a national-run competition, and beat over 70 other competitors to win the commissioning prize, whilst also receiving some financial backing from a Royal Society of Art ‘Art For Architecture’ grant.

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