Review: National Trust – One and All: A Voyage Through Sight, Sound and Sea @Somerset House

This brand new innovative and interactive project commissioned by Trust New Art to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Trust’s Neptune Campaign that has funded the acquisition and cared for 775 miles of coastline, celebrates and treasures the British coastline.

Featuring the work of three very different artists – Martyn Ware, Owen Sheers and Tania Kovats, this project celebrates our emotional and personal connections with the coastline that surrounds Britain in very different ways.


As you step into the space in which all three pieces of work are held you are transported to a calm and relaxing area that captures the spirit of nature.

The exhibition features films, large-scale projections, 3D sound installations and a specially commissioned tidal bell, all of which helps to convey what the sea and coastline means to each of the artists.

Martyn Ware’s 3D soundscape is disguised as a beach hut and  is the stand out piece of the exhibition. Standing outside Somerset house, it had been taken on a tour of the UK and left at certain points of the coastline for people to record their memories and thoughts about the sea. Now as part of this display, along with video footage of the coastline available to see inside the exhibition space, it creates a wonderfully atmospheric tribute to the sea.


Owen Sheers meanwhile uses a more poetic style in his ideas that have come from the sea and the coastline. On the Sea’s Land Ar-For-Dir  is a poem that is accompanied by film footage that focuses on the beautiful if tempermental nature of the sea and the coastline that is thoughtful and poignant.

But it is difficult to really see the part that Tania Kovat’s tidal bell has to play as it was created during the autumnal equinox on Porthcurno beach and it doesn’t feel as though it quite fits in with the other pieces as well.

If you are looking for a quiet moment of reflection and poignancy, then it is certainly worth coming along and experiencing this completely unique exhibition that is a true celebration of nature and why we should be doing everything in our power to preserve it.

One and All is on at Somerset House from the 4th November until the 13th December 2015. You can also experience the exhibition online by visiting: . For more information on the exhibition visit: . 

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