£27,000 grant awarded to Farley Farmhouse at Chiddingly

A Wealden farmhouse's artistic past as the Home of Surrealists will soon be enjoying wider public appreciation thanks to a cultural heritage fund grant from the Wealden and Rother Rural Partnership.

The Partnership has given a £27,743 grant to Farley's Yard Trust at Farley Farmhouse in Chiddingly to create two touring exhibitions to enable the location's cultural legacy to become more widely known.

Among the leading artists and writers of the 20th century who had close associations with the Wealden farmhouse were Pablo Picasso, Paul Éluard, Henry Moore, Joan Miró, Man Ray and Max Ernst.

Farley Farmhouse was the home of pioneering American photographer Lee Miller and her husband Roland Penrose.

They met many famous modern artists during their time in France before World War 2 and their  farmhouse in Chiddingly later became a popular retreat for many of the leading lights of the surrealism movement.

Ian Chance, arts director of the Farley's Yard Trust said: “These touring exhibitions are a great opportunity to present and celebrate the cultural heritage of Wealden and invite the public to discover something very special about the area.”

They will feature the artists photographed by Lee Miller and Roland Penrose, some of whose work was inspired by Wealden’s landscape and culture.

Following showings at the Farley's Yard Barn Gallery, they will be taken to venues throughout Wealden and Rother before being extended across the South-East.

The opportunity to discover the artists’ links with Wealden is expected to be of educational benefits to schools and colleges as well as of great interest to the wider public.

The exhibitions will also raise awareness in Farley Farmhouse which is an attraction in its own right.

The exhibitions are planned to start touring in the autumn 2011.

Funding from Defra and the EU under the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), over the five years to 2013, is enabling the the WARR Partnership to award £2.4 million to projects which help to improve the rural economy.

Grants of up to £50,000 are available for activities such as: farm diversification; adding value to agricultural and forestry products; creation and development of micro-enterprises; tourism; village renewal and development, and the conservation of our rural heritage.

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