National Gallery installation will bring voices of Trafalgar Square into gallery

An art installation has opened at the National Gallery in London that connects the inside of the building to the world outside at Trafalgar Square.

Artist in residence Celine Condorelli has created a set of installations, including a new 25-by-six metre textile sculpture which covers the ceiling.

Visitors are able to sit and recline to look at the installation and they are also invited to listen to a new audio work which includes field recordings and everyday voices from Trafalgar Square, where the gallery is located.

2023 National Gallery Artist in Residence – Céline Condorelli: Pentimenti (The Corrections), 13 Sept 2023 – 7 Jan 2024
Celine Condorelli’s work Bulk: Everlasting Colour (National Gallery/PA)

The behind-the-scenes activities of the gallery and the people who come to visit are said to be at the heart of the new exhibition, Celine Condorelli: Pentimenti (The Corrections), which will take place in Room 31 of the main floor galleries from September 13 to January 7, 2024.

Condorelli has focused on how visitors engage with art and spaces, specifically looking at the gallery’s symbolic role as a public space and the contrast between this and the bustling activity of Trafalgar and Leicester Square.

Discussing her residency, Condorelli said: “I feel hugely honoured to have been invited to be artist in residence at the National Gallery.

“Being given the opportunity to spend time in the company of such a rich collection is incredible, and I look forward to getting to know the museum inside and out.

“This feels like an important moment to address cultural institutions and their social responsibilities with fresh eyes, as well as the role of artists within them.”

Gabriele Finaldi, director of the National Gallery, London, said: “Celine’s thoughtful and striking objects and installations provide new insights into our collections and the life and activity of our museums.”

Since becoming artist in residence in September 2022, Condorelli has spent hours looking through gallery archives and talking to staff and her interest in the visitor’s experience is reflected in the new exhibition.

In total, she is the third artist in residence to be chosen since the launch of the gallery’s new modern and contemporary programme, following the appointment of Rosalind Nashashibi in 2019 and Ali Cherri in 2021.