New attractions light up The Argory in Co Armagh
Finn Harriott, 6, enjoys the ‘Artificial Sunshine’ neon art installation at The Argory.
National Trust property The Argory in Co Armagh has introduced a number of new features this year including a child-friendly outdoor trail attraction, Follow the Flow Water Trail, while its popular neon art installation, Artificial Sunshine, is set to stay as a permanent attraction.
Artificial Sunshine by Northern Irish artist Kevin Killen was revealed to the public in April 2018, taking the place of the West Hall chandelier during a major conservation project to clean all the acetylene light fittings in the house.
To create the bespoke artwork, Killen drew inspiration from The Argory including the spiral shapes found in the house décor, acetylene gas flame and an enthusiasm for collecting contemporary art on the part of the last owner of The Argory, Mr Bond.
With the chandelier due to return in November, The Argory has made the decision to keep Artifical Sunshine, relocating it within the house.
The new trail, meanwhile, focuses on technology used on the estate throughout the centuries to carry water such as using a donkey to operate the pump water from the river into the house.
“We welcome everyone to join us this summer to discover the stories of the people that help to light up The Argory,” said Christina Taylor, house and collections manager for Mid Ulster. “Whether it’s taking a tour of the house to hear about its history, our conservation project, see Artificial Sunshine or to walk around our new Follow the Flow Water Trail, there is guaranteed to be something to inspire and excite all our visitors.”
Killen said: “Working with the National Trust on the development and installation of Artificial Sunshine has been a wonderful experience. The Argory is a truly-inspiring place which enabled me to deliver an entirely modern take on a celebrated form of lighting.
“I would encourage everyone to visit this very special place and hope that my part in The Argory’s story helps to inspire and light up people’s lives.”
The Argory is open daily throughout July and August, 11am-5pm. For more information, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-argory.