The Government Stable, the official artwork of the 2015 election, was unveiled on Wednesday evening in the State Rooms of Speaker’s House. The Government Stable is a unique interpretation of the 2015 General Election and takes the form of a single monumental sepia ink drawing. Created by election artist Adam Dant, this record of a national historical event is based on his experiences on the 2015 general election campaign trail.
Through ‘lightning sketches’ made in the field Adam Dant recorded election events across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Adam Dant sat in on live televised debates in Salford and Westminster, accompanied candidates canvassing from Twickenham to Aberdeen, attended hustings, rallies and manifesto launches in numerous marginal and safe seats, and witnessed the ballot count and results for Holborn and St Pancras, the posting of the exit poll at ITV’s ‘election opinion room’ and the ensuing resignation and victory speeches.
Caroline Nokes MP, Chair of the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art, said:
”As someone who has had the privilege of seeing multiple elections from the inside, I find Adam Dant’s monumental encyclopaedia of the 2015 election a fitting record of that historic event. Adam’s source material, two dozen sketchbooks produced while on the campaign trail, provide a unique visual diary of electioneering in Britain in 2015, and his final work, The Government Stable, reflects both the unique experiences of individual participants and the grand sweep of the election campaign.”
Adam Dant, 2015 Election Artist, said:
“The Government Stable is a fictitious space which serves as a notional ‘General Election Campaign Archive.’ The architectural and symbolic presence is similar to that of the Parliamentary Archives at the Palace of Westminster. This imagined repository is built from particular and relevant architectural locations I encountered on the campaign trail and is filled with icons and artefacts of electioneering being viewed by members of the electorate. This visual fiction allows for a coherent and collective descriptive view of a historic national occasion. As everything is drawn from actual events I witnessed and sketched, it would be possible, had one been paying very close attention to the course of the 2015 election campaign via conventional news media, to identify and recount the stories of every detail depicted in the finished drawing.”
The artwork will be on display in Portcullis House on Saturday 19 September, as part of Parliament’s “Open House” event, before being moved to a permanent public location later in the year. The parliamentary website is also hosting an online exhibition of the Election Artist’s work, featuring sketches from the campaign trail, high definition images of The Government Stable, and a key, allowing users to explore the work in detail. The online exhibition is available here.
The Parliamentary Art Collection is a unique and valuable educational resource which documents and illustrates the history of Parliament over the centuries. It also explains the function and activities of Parliament today. The Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art is committed to developing the collection by acquiring works that depict issues and individuals of particular historical significance to Parliament.