Ceryl Evans joins the LI to work on birthday celebrations
Ceryl Evans has joined the Landscape Institute as project manager for CB300, the national festival to celebrate the tercentenary of Capability Brown’s birth in 2016.
The Festival will bring together volunteers and provide opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to increase their knowledge and understanding of the way in which Brown’s legacy remains relevant today. It will open up sites that were not previously accessible to the public, and aim to increase interest in and understanding of his work. Much of this will be thanks to the efforts of volunteers.
Evans has worked across the museum, heritage and wider cultural sector for the past 15 years, specialising in developing innovative and effective audience development, community engagement and lifelong learning programmes.
She recently worked for the London Borough of Hackney where she masterminded Mapping the Change, a four year Hackney Museum outreach project connecting East Londoners with the history of the areas surrounding the Olympic Park.
Her appointment initially runs until December. She will be responsible for delivering the results agreed as part of the project’s successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid. This will include three days bringing together owners of Capability Brown landscapes (the first will take place at Compton Verney) where those who are not used to opening to the public can meet more experienced owners. There will also be a focus on research, encouraging volunteers to look at how landscapes have changed and the forms they may have had originally.
There will also be an investigation of the technical issues with which Capability Brown dealt.
Evans applied for the role because, she said, ‘I like setting up new things. The thing that really works for me is getting people to engage with the heritage that is on their doorstep.’ Although most of Capability Brown’s clients were wealthy, his was, says Evans ‘a rags to riches story’. She is confident that, by telling the stories of the labourers who worked for him and the technology used in addition to the design of the landscape and the changing rural economy, this is a story that can have widespread appeal.