'Stone Cold Casanova' (2016) by Joanne Wardrop

Joanne Wardrop, during her original residency at Penrhyn Castle

'Stone Cold Casanova (Architecture + Entertainment = Archi-tainment)’ (2016) is an exploration of the fantasy nature of Penrhyn Castle.

Joanne Wardrop has created a 2m x 12m casino-inspired carpet runner,  installed in the castle’s Grand Hall.

The carpet draws on stories and reflections of the castle gathered by talking with people that have grown up, or work in ‘the shadow’ of Penrhyn. These were then turned into illustrations that fill the rowdy carpet runner.

" It’s a fantasy, a fancy, a mock, a vision, a make-believe, a daydream, a dream, a flight of fancy, a romance, a science fiction, an illusion, a delusion, a castle in the air… an escape"
- Joanne Wardrop, Artist in Residence, Penrhyn Castle (2016)

It asks what is the truth and what is the fiction of the site by exploring local perceptions, stories and rumours of the castle and it’s past and present inhabitants.

Joanne explains how this concept came about:

"When I first stepped in the building I felt like I was in a casino … Wait! Not the gambling side, but the architecture as entertainment side … In my eyes T. Hopper created the ultimate in architainment; where a building becomes a monument to a theme (in this case a Norman castle).

"However, like a casino, the glamour, fiction and excess of architainment also masks an, at times, murky reality… It is this dichotomy between extreme fantasy and extreme reality that really interests me about Penrhyn Castle"

Joanne's casino oinspired carpet includes imagery from local people stories and responses to the Castle.
A section from the casino inspired carpet by Joanne Wardop

A film which documents the process from castle to casino to carpet is also being screened until October

You can visit Joanne's blog to see the process of making the carpet and her experience as a resident artist at Penrhyn castle


Penrhyn Castle's Artists in Residence Exhibition (2016) runs from 28 April to 2 October, 2016 and is included in the price of admission.