The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is a great place for a walk with added interest but today my focus was to get to see the Ed Kluz exhibition in the gallery and main building. It poured with rain all the way there from Leeds but upon arrival the sun came out and the day was dry. Nevertheless I didn’t stray far into the park on this occasion. I have two further visits planned in March and April.
I first came across Ed Kluz’s work at the Newby Hall shop and Hornseys Art Gallery in Ripon. Then last year, through being a Friend of the Landmark Trust, I was invited to a talk by Ed Kluz at the YSP last Saturday. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend as I was still in Surrey but I decided that I must get to see the exhibition before it closed.
Ed Kluz is a versatile artist and works in a number of different media. Here is the YSP’s own introduction to the artist. Watch the film and see the show for yourself and hear Ed and Amanda Peach of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park explain the aims and objectives of this fascinating exhibition.
“The [YSP’s] largest solo exhibition to date by artist, illustrator and printmaker Ed Kluz. Sheer Folly – Fanciful Buildings of Britain celebrates the eccentric, uncanny and overlooked follies, temples and towers that dot the British landscape.
Featuring original paper collages, scraper boards and prints, the exhibition takes inspiration from fantastical and fanciful buildings across the UK, including the artist’s native North Yorkshire and YSP’s 500-acre, 18th-century parkland. A limited-edition print, exclusive to the Park, features the lost Belle Vista tower which once stood in the grounds of Bretton Hall, now home to YSP.
The Bella Vista Tower – print by Ed Kluz and miniature by Vicki Ambery-Smith
Kluz’s work explores contemporary perceptions of the past through the reimagining of historic landscapes, buildings and objects. The ideas of early Romanticism, the Picturesque movement and antiquarian representations of topography and architecture underpin his approach to image making.
Vibrant, meticulous and sometimes dark aspects of Kluz’s work reflect the many different characters and styles of British architecture over the last 500 years. In Sheer Folly – Fanciful Buildings of Britain, the artist depicts a varied collection of some of the most intriguing oddities, often hidden and forgotten, within the folly genre. Celebrated and familiar buildings also feature, including a series of six prints directly inspired by The Landmark Trust properties.”
The buildings featured are all the kind I love: so many reflecting the influence of man on the natural landscape. From small fanciful follies through larger gatehouses to grand country houses; many of which are now in the Landmark Trust or National Trust portfolios. Here’s a selection of some that I know and have visited or stayed in. Showing examples created in various media.
Tixhall Gatehouse [screenprint]
The Library, Stevenstone, Devon [screen print]
Swarkestone Pavillion, Derbyshire [scraperboard]
The Dunmore Pineapple [mixed media and paper collage]
The Triumphal Arch, Holkham Hall [mixed media and paper collage]
Close-up of Castle Howard [mixed media and paper collage]
Bridge Cottage, Devon [scraperboard]
Gibside, Newcastle [scraperboard]
Blickling Hall, Norfolk [screen print]
The Lost House Revisited [pen and ink on paper]
I’m so glad I managed to get to the show before it closed. I even bought a print for my bedroom wall : Belmont, Lyme Regis.