It’s sounding good at the Brontë Parsonage as the museum launches its new arts programme.
A sound installation by Gateshead artist Catherine Bertola will open this Saturday.
Visitors will hear haunting sounds as they walk through the dining room once used by the Brontë sisters. Natural sounds from the room itself have been mixed with readings from the sisters’ letters.
An accompanying display of photographs, Residual Hauntings, shows Catherine recreating domestic rituals from the Brontës’ time.
The sound installation, entitled “To be forever known”, was commissioned by the Brontë Society, which runs the Haworth museum.
Catherine Bertola is renowned for creating installations, objects and drawings which respond to particular sites, collections or historic contexts.
She looks beyond the surface of objects and buildings to uncover the “invisible histories” of places and people. She often draws on the historic role of women in society, craft production or labour.
Catherine, who grew up in Halifax, has created installations for the Victoria and Albert Museum, in London, Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery and the National Trust.
Jenna Holmes, the museum’s arts officer, said the Brontë installation drew on the history of Haworth Parsonage and its famous occupants.
She said: “The artist recorded herself reading aloud extracts from the Brontë sisters’ letters.
“These recordings have been played and re-recorded over and over again into the space, until the words become whispers and the resonances of the room are revealed; the sisters’ thoughts and feelings once again echoing within the walls of the house.”
Catherine has also created three Conversaziones at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, recreating a pastime from Victorian times.
She will bring together expert speakers with a small intimate audience to discuss themes relating to the Brontës. The Conversaziones, supported by Art in Yorkshire and Tate, starts with Radical Women, on May 12, in which Lucasta Miller and Jane Robinson discuss women from the original Bluestockings to the 20th-century suffragettes.
Tickets for the Conversaziones cost £14 from firstname.lastname@example.org or 01535 640188