Greenaway art project to bring film to life

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The Independent Online

Peter Greenaway, the innovative British director, is to bring film to life. In a project that returns him to his roots as a trained artist, Greenaway is to use the semi-autobiographical hero of his new movie in an art project at an English country house.

Tulse Luper, Mr Greenaway's latest cinematic creation, will explore the Compton Verney estate in Warwickshire echoing Greenaway's first film, The Draughtsman's Contract , 21 years ago where an artist investigated a country house (and its owner) through his drawings.

Luper is an art collector whose life and interests are revealed through the contents of 92 suitcases in a trilogy of films, the first of which is due for release in Britain next year.

Greenaway is to use this fictional character to guide visitors through Compton Verney by shooting sequences showing Luper on the estate. Other installations and "interventions" in the house and grounds will also illuminate its history.

"Tulse Luper at Compton Verney" will be the inaugural exhibition when the house opens to the public on 26 March after a 10-year restoration and transformation into an art gallery.

The scheme is the brainchild of the Littlewoods pools heir, Sir Peter Moores, who has long wanted to establish an art gallery in the country.

So far, he has committed £64m through his foundation to renovating Compton Verney - an 18th-century house remodelled by Robert Adam in the 1760s with a landscape designed by Lancelot "Capability" Brown - and to buying art for it.

The scale of the investment makes it one of the most extravagant acts of arts philanthropy seen in the UK.

Greenaway became involved after Richard Gray, Compton Verney's director, thought he would like to show The Draughtsman's Contract and wondered whether Greenaway, who attended Walthamstow College of Art before turning to film, would contribute to its exhibitions. After the film-maker visited and fell in love with the 120-acre estate, it was decided to give him an entire show.

It will run from April until October beside the permanent collection of art which has been acquired, through gifts and purchases.