Sunday, 16 August 2009

Fleece on the line

Where the sheep duck under the barbed wire they leave a fronds of fleece which remain, as a tiny discarded washing line..

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Rapunzel, Rapunzel

Hidden tower at the back of the Farm.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Another thing

The guided tour made me think - two things: the absolute reliance in terms of income that the Castle had on its land (and the consequent diminishment of this as the estate was gradually eroded) and the position of important objects within the history of places - and how these in themselves can tell stories. In some cases fictional ones, as in the case of the 'bed' of Charles II, which could not have been used by him as it is too late a date, but is a cherished conceit of the family, complete with commemorative plaque! The structural changes to the Castle itself also means that the location of the Charles Bedroom did not even exist at the time of his visits to Chirk - a real piece of installation art then; fabricated space and constructed objects..

Friday, 31 July 2009

One month on..

Residencias interruptus. But almost glad to be back, despite unseasonal (?) drab August weather. Treated to a long (3 and 3/4 hour!) guided tour of the Castle today, a wonderful opportunity to gain some background history, to see behind the scenes (in part) and to see the Castle 'wake up' to a new visiting day as the blinds were opened as we passed from room to room, casting faint, controlled light on the interiors. The distinction between fortress and family home that Chirk exhibits was well demonstrated by the Adam Tower, complete with dungeon, murder holes and arrow slits, contrasting with the sumptuous 18th century appearance of the state rooms (except those that had been Pugin-ised and returned to a faux medieaval gothic). The new East wing, appealingly sparse, houses the library and some fantastic architectural drawings by Pugin, and will maybe in the future speak more of the recent history of the Castle.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Door of danger

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Time's flying

Can't believe June is almost over, this month has gone really quickly. I'm looking at what I planned to do this month and already I've got some catching up to do. I'd planned to spend this month collecting: images, sounds, stories etc. I think the sheer mass of information available to potentially gather, store and subsequently filter is quite astonishing - every week there seems to be a new aspect of the place that catches my attention, from the history, the present uses, the visitors, the architecture, the farming landscape, natural features, etc etc.

Inevitably, and although I told myself I wouldn't too soon into the project, there are places that I'm already attracted to work in/on. The fences are one, beautiful thin black iron fences that run the lengths of the fields. Then there are the visible but inaccessible spaces at the farm; roof spaces, stables and sties. Then there is the estate walk itself, or the garden, and that's before I've even gone near the castle itself...

Monday, 22 June 2009

Stories so far

The drive up to the castle, between the two imposing gate posts (more like small houses) and then the stiff ascent up the road; then two dead trees, the first on my right, close to behind the wobbly, wavy line of the fence running alongside, the second in the far distance on the left, on the estate walk. Sometimes there are people walking that last leg of the permissive path as it returns to the road. From there the road forks, one part leading up to the castle, the other down the hill again toward the car park (for us lesser mortals), taking me past the black sheep that graze the slopes below the castle and affording a bottom-of-the-moat's eye view of the castle walls, curved and generous and, depending on the weather, either an invitingly warm buff colour, or paving-slab grey.