A new exhibition by internationally renowned artist Anya Gallaccio brings a landscape of colour to the newly-restored Lindisfarne Castle from 5 May.
Featuring a combination of dyed blankets and geometric oak sculptures throughout seven rooms of the castle, dreamed about the flowers that hide from the light is inspired by the architecture of the former 16th-century Tudor fort – later redesigned by renowned architect Edwin Lutyens for Country Life founder Edward Hudson – and the Gertrude Jekyll-designed garden it looks down upon.
Located on Holy Island in Northumberland, the castle has recently reopened following an 18-month closure for repairs and conservation.
Inspired by the architecture inside and landscape and garden outside the castle, Gallaccio’s installations reflect on the recent history of the castle, suggesting both a house shut up and protected for winter, and the transition the building has been through during the £3 million conservation programme.
The installations feature aged oak structures big enough to walk through, with blankets draped across, between and through them.
While the oak beams hark back to the castle’s time as a fortification, as well as Lutyens’ playful architecture, the blankets draped across them suggest a home, comfort and warmth, as well as providing protection during the period of renovation.
The project was motivated by a desire to make the best use of an empty castle. During conservation, furniture and the entire collection was removed while many of the walls were re-plastered to protect from the battering wind and rain on the North East coast. The interior of the castle still needs time to dry out, so the castle remains empty before redecoration in winter 2018.
By opening the empty spaces to Gallaccio’s art, the exhibition is a rare opportunity for visitors to experience the raw architecture of the castle as Lutyens designed it and to see contemporary art inspired by the design of the building and garden.
Anya says, “Lindisfarne is a very special place. It’s a place I have always been really intrigued by. It’s an amazing opportunity. How often do you get free rein of a castle? The opportunity to inhabit it briefly is not one to turn down.”