Pippa Hale at Pannett Art Gallery


Project Info


  • Pippa Hale

Art Forms

  • Installation and Photography


  • Pannett Art Gallery
  • Arts&Heritage
  • Arts Council England’s Museum Resilience Fund

Project Outline

Seat is part of the Meeting Point programme.

Seat, was a new commission made by artist Pippa Hale in response to Pannett Art Gallery. The installation recreated a Whitby Town Council Meeting, complete with public gallery, using local residents’ seats. Visitors to the exhibition were able to match the chairs to their owners and learn more about the stories that make the chairs so special and unique.

Pippa explained:

“I wanted to reflect the dual use of the building; both as a gallery space and seat of local government hosting the Whitby Town Council meetings. Seats have a practical use within the gallery but I want them to act as the artwork itself. That’s why we’re encouraging local people in Whitby to lend their chairs and share the stories behind them. The stories, along with the chairs and their owners, will feature in the new exhibition.”

The gifting of seats is significant because it marks a special moment in Whitby’s history when, in 1928, local people, upon hearing of the death of Pannett Art Gallery founder Robert Elliot Pannett, donated chairs to ensure the Gallery – named in his honour – could be completed”


The aim of the project was to reveal Pannett Art Gallery’s unique role in the town’s history to Whitby townsfolk, tourists and the art world.


Arts&Heritage supported the nine museums participating in Meeting Point 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 40 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.

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

The Artist

Pippa Hale is an artist based in Leeds. She is particularly interested in social history and geography and her work includes large-scale installations both in heritage venues and the public realm. For Pannett Art Gallery, Pippa is working with local residents to create Seat, an installation that reflects the dual purpose of the beautiful temporary exhibitions space and its role in the history and governance of Whitby.

Born in 1971, Coventry, Pippa studied at the University of Leeds. Previous projects include Beyond The Dustheaps at the Dickens Museum (London); Pool a temporary installation at Leeds International Pool commissioned by Leeds City Council; North and South for Southampton Art Gallery and Yarn commissioned by The Culture Company for Leeds City Council and Holbeck Urban Village.