Colour Forms - straws upon the water

The 'mother sphere' located in the Fernery at Wentworth Castle Gardens

This temporary art installation and soundscape was inspired by a woman who pioneered the use of vaccines exactly 300 years ago.

Dates: 18 March - 14 April 2021

The artwork, 'Colour Forms - straws upon the water' was created by Lenny and Whale, and is inspired by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu who brought the concept of the smallpox inoculation to England from Turkey in 1721.  Her achievements are also recognised through the Sun Monument, one of our garden highlights, which is dedicated to her by William Wentworth.

The artwork, which consists of a series of hand painted spheres, a molecular structure and two bespoke benches, will be situated in the Fernery, accompanied by a specially composed soundscape. The below video was shot by Timm Cleasby, edited by Fabric Lenny and features music by Nick Lewis and Hayley Youell.

Colour Forms - straws upon the water from Fabric Lenny on Vimeo.

Please note that the soundscape will only play on the following dates:

Sun 21 March

Sat 27 March

Sun 28 March

Fri 2 April (Good Friday)

Sat 3 April

Sun 4 April (Easter Sunday)

Mon 5 April (Easter Monday)

Sat 10 April

Sun 11 April

At other times you can listen to the soundscape here, perhaps on headphones as you're walking round the installation. 

Explore the pieces of sculpture using all your senses – can you spot any familiar images hidden in the sculptures? What different sounds can you hear? And can you recreate any of the shapes with your body?

Did you know?

The subtitle of the work, ‘straws upon the water’, is taken from a quote attributed to Lady Mary:

" "I am afraid we are little better than straws upon the water; we may flatter ourselves that we swim, when the current carries us along.""

Following the display at Wentworth Castle Gardens, the artwork will go on a mini-tour, moving to Cannon Hall Gardens in April and Elsecar Heritage Centre in May.

This installation is part of an Artists in Residence project to explore the stories of Wentworth Castle Gardens, and is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England, as part of the Wentworth & Elsecar Great Place Scheme.