Academy Award–winning actor Cate Blanchett, who has starred in critically acclaimed films like Carol and Blue Jasmine, is taking on a new role: private gallery owner. The Times of London reports that Blanchett is building a gallery space for her private collection at Highwell House, her remote estate near the town of Crowborough in East Sussex in southeastern England. The new structure will also reportedly feature spaces for meditations and rehearsals.
Blanchett’s collection has been reported to include works by Guan Wei, Paula Rego, Howard Hodgkin, Bill Hammond, and other artists. The actor also figured in a video installation by artist and filmmaker Julian Rosefeldt, which was included in the 2019 exhibition “Manifesto: Art x Agency” at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. Blanchette has also appeared in a video installation, titled The Four Temperaments, by the director and artist Marco Brambilla, which was presented last year at Michael Fuchs Galerie in Berlin.
The new gallery will be constructed where the estate’s oast house and a cottage once stood. The actor’s consultants told the Times that the structure “will be ancillary to the principal dwelling and will be used as a place to enjoy quiet and proximity to nature.”
Before constructing this new sanctuary, however, Blanchett and her planners will need to devise a “bat mitigation strategy” so as not to disrupt or harm a colony of protected bats on the 13-acre property. The presence of the endangered species on the grounds has loomed large over the project, but the Wealden district council, which presides over the matter, has given planning permission for the gallery.