LAURA FORD : SQUATTERS AT CASTELL COCH

30 MARCH - 6 MAY 2019

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PRIVATE VIEW : friday 29 march 6.30 - 8.00

DATES : 30 march - 6 may 2019

OPEN : daily 9.30 - 5.00 last admission 4.30

LOCATION : castell coch, tongwynlais, cardiff, cf15 7js : view map

castle admission + travel info : view details

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a squatter is a person who occupies property or land to which he/she has no legal title. my work will occupy castell coch for 40 days, taking up space, responding to and playing with the history + architecture of the castle

— Laura Ford


TEN. presents an exhibition of new works by laura ford in partnership with cadw

laura ford unveils a series of new sculptures inside wales’ iconic castell coch [red castle], as visitors are invited to discover over 20 works created by one of the uk’s leading contemporary artists

commissioned by the 3rd marquess of bute in 1870s + built by william burges on the foundations of an original 13th century fortress, castell coch is either a gothic fairy tale or a monument to medieval endurance, depending on your romantic inclination. seen by many as an architectural folly, ford riffs on the castle’s fabled past to imagine a new generation of anthropomorphic inhabitants

a meticulously handcrafted rabble of otherworldly interlopers are concealed + revealed within the castle’s architecture as figures appear cloaked, crouched or soaring from the rafters. ford’s reinterpretation of the folk lore + folk art, which is so intrinsic to the public perception of the castle, takes on a fantastical and sometimes sinister edge. rendered in bronze, jesmonite and ceramic + clothed in brilliant swathes of wool + felt, her child-sized figures are inherently tactile. their postures are pointedly + recognisably human

ford imagines a direct conversation between the past and present; one where parrot-children flock to disrupt festivities in the banqueting hall; monkeys run amok in lady bute’s chamber and knights are seemingly felled in the courtyard. each tableau is a testament to ford’s accomplishments as both a sculptor and storyteller

the exhibition will be launched by lord dafydd elis thomas + is open to the public from march 30th to may 6th 2019

cardiff-born laura ford studied at bath academy of art from 1978-82 + at chelsea school of art from 1982-83. ford is unique in having become identified with the ‘New British Sculpture’ movement from her participation in the 1983 survey exhibition the sculpture show at serpentine gallery + the hayward, as well as participating in british art show 5 in 2000 + representing wales in the 51st venice biennale in 2005. her fantastical, witty + often menacing work is held in many public collections including the british government art collection, national museum of wales + tate gallery, london. laura resides in london

while resting on ancient foundations, castell coch [red castle] is relatively modern, the by-product of a vivid victorian imagination, assisted by untold wealth. the middle ages fascinated the victorians as much as the victorians fascinate us today. high gothic was the order of the day

the ‘eccentric genius’ william burges was given free rein by his paymaster, john patrick crichton-stuart, the 3rd marquess of bute, to create a rural retreat to complement the opulence of his main residence, cardiff castle. he didn’t hold back. dazzling ceilings, over-the-top furnishings + furniture were liberally applied

detailed architectural drawings still survive today and following burges’s death in 1881, colleagues faithfully continued work on the interiors for another ten years. the castle was not suitable for, nor was it intended to be, a permanent residence and the family’s visits were infrequent

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for press or general inquiries please contact the gallery via info@gallery-ten.co.uk or +44 (0)29 2060 0495. all images are subject to copyright; gallery approval must be granted prior to reproduction


 
 
magpie girl ii, 2018, jesmonite, steel + fabric, 105 x 82 x 70cm

magpie girl ii, 2018, jesmonite, steel + fabric, 105 x 82 x 70cm

girl with blue demon, 2018, jesmonite, steel, fabric + mixed media, 120 x 60 x 43cm

girl with blue demon, 2018, jesmonite, steel, fabric + mixed media, 120 x 60 x 43cm

yellow stripey cat, 2019, jesmonite + steel, [#1/3] 87 x 26 x 24cm

yellow stripey cat, 2019, jesmonite + steel, [#1/3] 87 x 26 x 24cm

little lords 1, 2 + 3, 2019, jesmonite, steel, fabric + mixed media, 130 x 58 x 45cm

little lords 1, 2 + 3, 2019, jesmonite, steel, fabric + mixed media, 130 x 58 x 45cm

squatter monkey i + ii, 2019, jesmonite + mixed media, 43 x 85 x 40cm / 63 x 57 x 70cm

squatter monkey i + ii, 2019, jesmonite + mixed media, 43 x 85 x 40cm / 63 x 57 x 70cm

small orange tree girl, 2017, jesmonite, steel + fabric, 141 x 56 x 45cm

small orange tree girl, 2017, jesmonite, steel + fabric, 141 x 56 x 45cm

all photography by jon pountney


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