Queen’s beloved Balmoral to be transformed by poignant art for important cause

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Balmoral has been under the Royal Family’s ownership since the 19th Century, and the Queen is known to spend her summers at the stunning retreat with other members of the Royal Family. But to mark her Platinum Jubilee this year, a special art installation called ‘Salmon School’ will be on display at the castle to highlight the threats to wild salmon.

Salmon School was created by artist Joseph Rossano, and it consists of 250 mirrored glass forms suspended in the air to emulate a school of wild salmon.

The installation highlights the importance of salmon conservation in a landscape where climate change and biodiversity loss threaten the existence of these fish in the wild.

The Queen is passionate about salmon conservation, as the Royal Family have supported eco-work on the River Dee for more than a century.

The Balmoral Estate collaborates with the River Dee Trust to deliver practical salmon restoration, helping to plant trees along the riverbank and enact small wooden dams to help river flows in times of flood and drought in the estate’s smaller streams.

Mr Rossano told the BBC: “This piece represents roughly one percent of all the salmon returning to the Dee.

“The estate and the Dee Trust that’s been supporting this project are trying to impress upon people what this looks like and how, when we see ourselves reflected in it.”

Salmon School has already been displayed in the Pacific Northwest of the US, and it was also featured at the landmark COP26 climate summit in Glasgow last November.

Mr Rossano said: “The Salmon School is an international collaborative performance project that contextualises the finality of a seemingly infinite resource.

“A synthesis of art and science, the Salmon School fosters environmental awareness, bringing together diverse communities for a greater good – cold, clean water.

“Embracing art’s ability to disarm, to make something beautiful – a sculpture mimicking an ideal, a restored ecosystem – the project achieves measurable change through its actions and initiatives.”

Salmon School marks the first contemporary art installation to be displayed in one of the Queen’s homes.

The poignant installation will feature as part of a wider transformation of Balmoral this year to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

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The ‘Life at Balmoral’ exhibition will be on display in the castle’s ballroom between April 1 and August 2, 2022.

The exhibition “covers all aspects of life on the estate”, according to the Balmoral website.

The exhibit will include some of the cars used by young royals, including one that belonged to Prince Charles as a child.

An array of clothing will also be on display at the exhibition, with mannequins depicting what the Queen may wear during a stay at Balmoral.

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