Artist and architectural designer Edward Crooks has created a theatrical installation called, ‘Holding Up’, celebrating Castle Drogo as the product of fabricated stories and unbuilt proposals which will be on display in the Library from 3 March until 4 November.
‘Holding up’ is a large scale architectural installation, over 3 metres high, alongside a set of drawings, models and films inviting visitors to explore the foundations holding up a vast unbuilt tower above Castle Drogo. Sampled from the castle, the fragments allow visitors to make connections to the existing architecture; such as the cantilevered granite staircase, domes in the ceiling and carved granite stones.
After a working residency within the castle, Edward draws upon these stories and with the help of local craftsmen such as stonemason Ben Martin to create a beautiful piece of carved granite.
He says, “I’ve had a fantastic time here at Castle Drogo, where I’ve been delving deep into the archives, exploring the remarkable restoration, and getting to know the place through the stories of its fantastic staff, volunteers and visitors. Coming from an architectural background, the opportunity to develop new work in such a significant building is a real honour, and I look forward to introducing the public to Drogo’s tongue-in-cheek spirit of theatricality and myth through this installation.”
Left to visitor’s imaginations Holding Up furthers the spirit of speculation from which Castle Drogo was first created. It was built from 1911-1930 entirely out of hand cut granite with reinforced concrete ceilings. Like many plans for a new house this design changed over the 20 years, from a discarded west wing to a chapel being built in the crypt. The restoration project is now in its last year and will be complete by the end of 2018, and throughout 2019 the collection and rooms will be reinstated.
Edward would like to express his thanks to the Blackenstone Quarry, Design and Making, Exeter Phoenix and Grymsdyke Farm for their generosity in supporting this project.