For this project I was invited to make a creative film that reflected the essence of Dudmaston. The first thing that struck me when walking around the property was the number of family photographs peppered around the house. I was then shown the very beautiful Dingle wood and pools. I knew immediately that this was a place I wanted to explore in detail.
Nature, reminiscence, life and death are all strong themes in my work, so it was very natural for me to veer towards those ideas. I discovered a series of conversations recorded with people who lived on the property during the 20th Century. I started going through the hours of audio recordings looking for moments and memories that I thought would give a heartfelt and personal account of Dudmaston; something that would be lost in time unless you knew the individual who was telling you that story, and a new way for us, as a visitor, to experience the place.
Betty Stevens was a tenant at Park Farm and, in later life, volunteered in the Hall. She never married and is buried in the village churchyard, at Quatt.
Bill Faithful was born in 1942, and has lived at Dudmaston his whole life, doing a lot of work to keep the village of Quatt, and the estate looking tidy and well-maintained.
Lady Labouchere moved to Dudmaston after her husband Sir George retired from the diplomatic service in 1966 and lived there until her death in 1996. It was she who handed the property to the National Trust, passionate about its past and determined that the estate should never be broken up.
Mark Hamilton Russell moved into Dudmaston in March 2013, following his father, James, who was Lady Labouchere’s first cousin, once removed.
During the making of Dudmaston; Something Old, Something New, Artdocs documented Ben Wigley's artistic process and spoke with Forest Crafts Ranger, Richard Channing who provides an insight to Dudmaston, the local history and explains some of the work involved in maintaining it's thriving ecosystem.
As an artist and award filmmaker, Benjamin Wigley, through his company artdocs, has produced over 100 short films and worked with the BBC, The Space, Arts Council England, British Council and Tate. Benjamin has a long standing relationship with Trust New Art and has profiled many properties and landmarks around the country, building a unique and accessible portfolio for members of the public to enjoy.
Benjamin also produces independent projects including the award winning short documentary, P.S. Your Mystery Sender and most recently his debut feature film, Paa Joe & The Lion, due to hit the festival circuit in Spring 2016."