'An Apple Gathering' at Croft Castle
Croft Castle's latest exhibition celebrates the cultural significance of the apple and explores the incredibly diverse symbolism of this humble fruit.
Listen to The Orchard Year soundscape
Listen to the evocative sounds of The Orchard Year in this immersive soundscape, which weaves together music, poetry, wassails, and bird song into ‘the voice of the orchard’. Produced by Andy Bell for Hudson Records, featuring Jon Boden, M G Boulter, The Rotundas, and Lucy Farrell. Wassail Recordings provided by the Cider Museum. Reproduced with permission from Curtis Brown Ltd London on behalf of the Estate of Laurie Lee. Copyright The Estate of Laurie Lee 1985. Sound Recordings by Andy Bell.Click here to download The Orchard Year soundscape
'An Apple Gathering'
‘An Apple Gathering’ at Croft Castle is a new exhibition celebrating the importance of Herefordshire’s apple-growing history and exploring the many complex meanings of this humble fruit through the seasons. Throughout the year, the castle, grounds, church, and walled garden orchards will be gradually transformed by stories of the apple, told through art, music, sculptures, and literature, inviting visitors to discover the remarkable influence of apples within art and culture that can often be overlooked.
This exhibition is part of the Apples & People programme, a partnership between the Brightspace Foundation, The Museum of Cider Hereford, and the National Trust in Herefordshire. The first part of the exhibition begins at Croft Castle on 22 April 2023 and will run until 5 November, with different stages of activity scheduled throughout the year. Normal admission fees apply.
Programme curated by Antonia Harrison - Art, Curate, Consult. Find out more about the Apples and People programme here - Apples and People: The astonishing global story of the apple.
The Orchard Year
‘An Apple Gathering’ begins on 22 April, with an outdoor installation inspired by the seasonality of apples. Enter the historic orchard in Croft’s walled garden and become immersed in the sights and sounds of ‘The Orchard Year'. The orchard becomes an outdoor gallery, following the seasonal journey of apples and orchards through a series of paintings and poems. The Orchard Year soundscape will bring your surroundings to life, weaving together music, poetry, wassails, and bird song into ‘the voice of the orchard’. The soundscape will be available on our website for you to listen to remotely and will also be played through speakers in the Ambassador Room on the first floor in the Castle.
The Apple Art Trail
From 29 July, Croft becomes a world of apple discovery, telling the many stories of the apple. Throughout history, apples have been given a unique significance in art and culture and have grown to represent many complex ideas, from knowledge, freedom, and peace, to temptation, decay, and corruption. ‘An Apple Gathering’ showcases a diverse collection of artworks throughout the castle, church, and garden, exploring the many complex meanings of this humble fruit, including sculptures, paintings, glasswork, and music.
'This Earth of Majesty, This Seat of Mars' by Barnaby Barford
'This Earth of Majesty, This Seat of Mars' and two other artworks by contemporary artist Barnaby Barford will feature in the exhibition. They form a part of a recent body of work by the artist which explores the symbolism of the apple and how it relates to contemporary society’s obsession with the idea of ‘more’, originating from the fruit’s symbolic role in the Garden of Eden. Featured in the Apple Art hunt. On display from 29 July to 5 November.
This summer, get involved with the exhibition by taking part in an ‘apple art hunt’, seeking out the fruit in some surprising places such as within the pages of books, on mantlepieces, and even by using your ears.
Celebrating Herefordshire’s orchards
Herefordshire’s traditional orchards are a huge part of the county’s heritage, and the area is well known for its fruit trees and cider. The orchards here at Croft Castle support numerous mature specimens, including many Old Herefordshire varieties, such as Adam’s Pearmain, King’s Acre Bountiful, and Herefordshire Beefing. As part of ‘An Apple Gathering’, we will be showcasing artwork and stories about Herefordshire’s apples upstairs in the castle and within The Long Gallery, and celebrating the importance of apples in Croft’s heritage, from the work of influential botanist Thomas Andrew Knight to Croft’s own apple variety.
This soundcape was produced by Andy Bell for Hudson Records, featuring Jon Boden, M G Boulter, The Rotundas, and Lucy Farrell. Wassail Recordings provided by the Cider Museum. Laurie Lee recording provided by the BBC. Sound Recordings by Andy Bell.
Discover the garden at Croft Castle, taking in the historic orchard within the walled garden, or listen to the birds in the church garden.
Croft Castle was noted in the Domesday book in 1086 and the Croft family have played a part influencing British political and military history ever since. Uncover their stories in the castle.
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