Slate or State, Penrhyn Castle

Slate or State in the Grand Hall, Penrhyn Castle

Date

2 July 2017

Location

Penrhyn Castle, Llandegai, Bangor
SH 60219 71962; 53.22624°N, 4.09534°W

Information

The installation, entitled Slate or State, is on display in the Grand Hall of Penrhyn Castle from 1 July until 5 November 2017.

“This sculpture was developed as part of a year-long residency by artists Zoe Walker and Neil Bromwich. It is a symbolic object; its form is drawn from Victorian paintings and sketches of Penrhyn Quarry, the quarry once owned by Lord Penrhyn.

“The choice of material for the sculpture draws inspiration from the history of protest, and large-scale inflatables that since the 1920s have taken to the streets in collective actions that have called for a fairer society.

“Walker and Bromwich are known internationally for their large-scale participatory events and exhibitions that invite audiences to imagine better worlds. Their residency at Penrhyn Castle was the final act of a three-year collaboration between Arts Council Wales and the National Trust, and their brief was to “interrogate the castle’s controversial history, the stories surrounding it and its relationship with local communities”.

“The focus of the work is the Great Strike of 1900-03, a bid by the men of Penrhyn Quarry to improve their working conditions.

“Walker and Bromwich have worked with individuals, schools and community groups in the quarry town of Bethesda to develop this sculptural work. This sculpture was the focal point of a symbolic event that paid tribute to the local community, which staged the longest strike in British industrial history.

“On 1 July 2017 the Penrhyn Choir processed this sculpture from Bethesda into the Grand Hall. During this performance the original demands of the Great Strike, combined with demands of today, were sung by the choir: colliding in time two points in history where working conditions have been at the forefront of social change.”

– Sara Roberts, Curator

Further Reading

Penrhyn Castle;
Great Strike;
Penrhyn Quarry;
More posts in the Penrhyn Castle Series

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Furnace Hill, Bodnant Garden

View of Bodnant House and the Terraces from Lady’s Seat, Furnace Hill

Date

30 April 2017

Location

Bodnant Garden, Tal y Cafn, Conwy
SH 80019 72289; 53.23402°N, 3.79903°W

Information

In April 2017 8 hectares (20 acres) of previously private woodland were opened to the public at Bodnant Garden. The opening of Furnace Meadow and Furnace Hill was the culmination of a 10-year renovation project carried out to counter the effects of decline and disease in the area. The area is named after a blast furnace that operated there in the 18th century. With other previously private sections – Old Park Meadow, Yew Dell and The Far End – having been opened between 2013 and 2015, over 90% of the grounds are now accessible. A final area, Heather Hill, is scheduled to open in 2020.

Further Reading

Other posts in the Bodnant Garden series…
Welcome to Furnace Wood and Meadow (Bodnant Garden Blog)

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Waddesdon Manor

Waddesdon Manor

Waddesdon Manor

Date

27 October 2016

Location

Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire
SP 73135 16674; 51.84388°N, 0.93979°W

Information

A member of the Austrian family of bankers, Ferdinand James Anselm Freiherr von Rothschild (1839-1898) was born in Paris and lived in Vienna before moving to Britain. He was a hereditary baron (freiherr) in the lower Austrian nobility and in Britain was known as Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild. He served as Liberal MP for Aylesbury from 1885 until 1898.

In 1874 Ferdinand bought the Buckinghamshire estate near Waddesdon village. Designed by French architect Gabriel-Hippolyte Destailleur (1822-1893) in a style based on 16th-century French châteaux, the Manor at Waddesdon was built from 1874 to 1889 to house Ferdinand’s art collection and for entertaining.

Ferdinand left the property to his younger sister Alice Charlotte de Rothschild (1847-1922) and it was subsequently inherited by their great-nephew James Armand de Rothschild (1878-1957), who left it to the National Trust. Although owned by the National Trust, Waddesdon is run semi-independently by investment banker Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild (b 1936) through the Rothschild charity The Alice Trust.

As well as being the National Trust’s second most popular visitor attraction, Waddesdon Manor is also used as a wedding venue and is hired out for location filming. The manor has featured in a variety of films and series, from Carry on… Don’t Lose Your Head and Never Say Never Again to Downton Abbey and The Crown.

Further Reading

Waddeson Manor (waddesdon.org.uk);
Waddesdon Manor (Wikipedia)

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