Award-winning sculptor Tony Cragg's exhibition at Castle Howard offers Indian tourists a historic experience - Hindustan Times
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Award-winning sculptor Tony Cragg's exhibition at Castle Howard offers Indian tourists a historic experience

PTI | | Posted by Akanksha Agnihotri, London
May 19, 2024 03:30 PM IST

A landmark new exhibition by award-winning sculptor Tony Cragg is now open at Castle Howard, a historic English stately home near York.

A landmark new exhibition by award-winning sculptor Tony Cragg at a historic English stately home in northern England is being pitched as an ideal opportunity for more Indian tourists to explore some of its history associated with the East India Company. Castle Howard, set in nearly 9,000 acres of rolling Yorkshire countryside near the city of York and serving as the backdrop of popular shows such as ‘Bridgerton’ and ‘Brideshead Revisited’, is now playing host to 28 unique sculptures by Cragg spread across the sprawling grounds.

London: A sculpture by artist Tony Cragg seen in the foreground of Castle Howard in northern England as part of a new exhibition. (PTI Photo)
London: A sculpture by artist Tony Cragg seen in the foreground of Castle Howard in northern England as part of a new exhibition. (PTI Photo)

The castle's Indian connection dates back to architect John Vanbrugh’s design of the estate’s mausoleum, which he recreated from memory in the style of the English Cemetery at Surat, Gujarat, where he was based in the 17th century. “We welcome visitors from India and all over the world to Castle Howard to experience not only the historic site but this wonderful part of Yorkshire,” said Nicholas and Victoria Howard, whose family has used the castle as their private residence for over 300 years.

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“Many will be familiar with the house and grounds through seeing it on screen, including in ‘Brideshead Revisited’ and ‘Bridgerton’, and we hope that these artworks by Tony Cragg will make visitors look at the landscape anew. With 10 sculptures in the grounds and a further 18 indoors, as well as works on paper, visitors can see how these artworks interplay with the landscape and the architecture of the House,” they said.

The exhibition, which opened this month and runs until September, features new and recent sculptures – many being presented in the UK for the first time, including large-scale works in bronze, stainless steel, aluminium and fibreglass installed across the grounds. Inside the house are works in bronze and wood, as well as a selection of glass sculptures, presented alongside Cragg’s works on paper.

“Within the beautiful landscape and historical architecture of this place, between nature and history, it is interesting to see where new and contemporary forms find a place and what role they might play,” said Cragg, born in the UK and based in Germany. The exhibition is intended to celebrate and demonstrate the importance of sculpture as an art form today, giving audiences surprising, hybrid forms that challenge thoughts and emotions.

Curator Dr Jon Wood explained: “Tony Cragg’s passionate curiosity about materials and the complex lives of form always shines through his work. For him, sculpture is an amazing means of investigation that can shape human understandings of the world better than any other art form. His works are always dynamic, animated by movement, change and transformation.

“Works like ‘Over the Earth’, ‘Runner’ and ‘Versus’ sit compellingly in the grounds of Castle Howard – with its wonderful gardens, woods and lakes, historic interiors and collection of antique sculpture – inviting us to see the past through the present and to look at the world afresh.” Since the 1960s, Castle Howard has been used as a location for many film and television productions and the team indicated they are keen to also have a Bollywood film or song sequence being shot on its grounds.

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This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.
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