Westminster unveils new artwork for summer season

Date Posted: 09/06/2016

Groups taking a trip to Westminster this summer can view two new contemporary artworks in the setting of the Medieval Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the Houses of Parliament.

New Dawn

The first piece of artwork is called New Dawn, and is open to the public now. 

New Dawn is a six-metre high light sculpture by artist Mary Branson. An addition to the Parliamentary Art Collection, it is the first piece of abstract art commissioned for permanent display in the Palace of Westminster.

The piece has been revealed 150 years to the day since the campaign for women’s votes began, and celebrates the suffragette crusade.

Visitors viewing New Dawn will stand in the footsteps of the thousands of women and men who came to parliament to fight for women’s right to vote.

It’s located above the entrance to St Stephen’s Hall, the site of many suffrage demonstrations as well as the route used for women coming to deliver petitions and lobby MPs.

The Ethics of Dust

Groups visiting between 29th June and 1st September will also be able to observe The Ethics of Dust; a temporary art installation created by artist, architect and conservationist Jorge Otero-Pailos.

The artwork is a 50-metre long translucent latex cast of Westminster Hall’s east wall and contains hundreds of years of surface pollution and dust.

Suspended from the hall’s 28-metre high roof, the latex sheet contains innumerable particles of dust, soot and dirt gently lifted from the wall during the sensitive cleaning process.

Visitors are encouraged to walk along both sides of the installation and examine the layers of parliament’s history embedded in the latex cast.

See the artwork on a guided tour

Entry to see both New Dawn and The Ethics of Dust is free and tickets should be booked in advance.

Alternatively, the new artwork can be seen on a guided tour, alongside other highlights of parliament such the House of Commons, House of Lords and Westminster Hall.

GTOs can choose between a Blue Badge Guide-led tour which takes 90 minutes and a self-guided audio option which takes between 60 and 75 minutes.

Discounted group rates are available for parties of ten or more.

For further information visit www.parliament.uk/visiting.

(Photo credit: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor).

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