David Appleyard at Norton Priory Museum and Gardens


Project Info


  • David Appleyard

Art Forms

  • Sculpture Installation


  • Norton Priory
  • Arts&Heritage
  • Arts Council England Museum Resilience Fund

Project Outline

Time in the Ice House is part of the Meeting Point programme.

Norton Priory Museum’s Georgian Ice House was home to a large-scale, experimental ice bell that, as it melted, released objects and played sounds. The installation references the Liturgy of the Hours, a daily cycle of communal prayer that would have been observed by monks at the Priory.

Time in the Ice House was installed inside the museum’s Ice House from Tuesday 22 August 2017. The experiment took place over seven days and concluded when the block of ice melted.

Singing bowls sat under the large ice sculpture marking the release of an object with a sound. Visitors were able to visit the Ice House to experience the soundscape as the ice bell melted over time.

Artist, David Appleyard said:

“I’ve always been fascinated by the various ways time was measured in the middle ages; from beeswax candles and water clocks to sundials and our very own body clocks. All were commonly used in monastic communities to ensure the set daily cycle of prayer. That really formed the basis of my idea to mark the passing of time through the dripping of water.

“The Priory’s original bell was another source of inspiration as this would also have been used as a call to prayer. I decided to combine the two ideas to create an artwork that celebrates the museum’s history and the objects of its past.”



  • Raise awareness of the internationally significant site and develop its profile as a cultural destination
  • Engage community and generate strong ties with local people
  • Provide a platform whereby future programming can be developed


Arts&Heritage is supporting the ten participating museums throughout the process, sharing knowledge of presenting contemporary art projects and commissions in non-traditional art spaces.

A networking event between the participating museums and 70 artists from across the UK took place at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and visits to artists’ studios were arranged. Museum teams also met with peers at other properties to learn how they successfully delivered contemporary art projects at their museums and heritage sites.

All museums developed their own Artist’s Brief. Following the networking event artists were invited to send in an expression of interest to museums that interested them.

Four artists were shortlisted by each museum to draw up a more detailed proposal and were paid £500 each.


  • £10,000 to include all materials, travel and installation costs
  • £1000 towards towards learning and outreach
  • £500 paid to each of four artists shortlisted

The Artist

David Appleyard is an artist with a background in three-dimensional design. Since establishing his studio in 2007, he has developed an eclectic portfolio of creative projects which provide interest, intrigue and delight. His on-going creative practice strives to communicate ideas and narratives through the development and production of three-dimensional works and light installations. The individual heritage of a site is often used as a catalyst for the work and a range of permanent legacies now occupy a variety of spaces within our shared landscape. 

The studio continues to grow with a range of exciting new projects, interesting collaborations and studio experiments.