War and Pieces at Berrington Hall

Berrington's past is strongly connected with Admiral Rodney's 1782 naval battles. Now Bouke de Vries has brought us his award winning installation, 'War and Pieces' and he has woven a twist into it which incorporates this part of Berrington's past. War & Pieces has now been removed from the Dining Room at Berrington, but read on to discover more about the sculpture and its link to Berrington's story.

Berrington Hall's past is connected with the famous Admiral Thomas Rodney. Rodney was a major influence in The Battle of Saintes in 1782 and it is this campaign that is depicted through a series of portraits in the Dining Room. We celebrated this connection with British history with Bouke de Vries' Arts Council's award winning exhibition, 'War and Pieces'.

Be blown away by a masterpiece
A long shot of the entire exhibit upon the table

Vries drew inspiration from the eighteenth century tradition of war banquets, given on the eve of battle. He combined this part of history with the seventeenth century tradition of creating spectacular sugar sculptures that were designed to impress the guests of stately homes. 'War and Pieces' incorporated both of these traditions into its final design.

" Create to destroy, destroy to create"
- Bouke de Vries

Vries delicately threaded the Berrington story into the piece. He used a symbol of a ship, which originates from one of Berrington's porcelain bowls, and printed the design onto each of the sculpture's plates.

This symbol was originally designed to remind Berrington's visitors of its connection with Admiral Rodney, as were the paintings of the battles which took place during Rodney's 1779 campaign. Vries used special lighting to highlight both the paintings and the symbol of the ship to stress the connection of the sculpture to Berrington's past.

Watch sugar defeat porcelain
Two of the statues battling it out for victory

This exhibition has travelled all over Europe and will even stretch as far as America. It is only due to our visitors and their enthusiasm with generous donations, that we can continue with our conservation work that make housing exhibitions such as this a reality.

This is a little slice of Berrington's history, and Admiral Rodney's part in it
A picture of one of the naval battles that Admiral Rodney was involved in

Due to our visitors and their contributions we are able to work with contemporary artists such as Bouke de Vries to connect the present with Berrignton's past and make it last for the future.