Overview shot of sketch working model
Sketch working model view
What is actually inside this thing that look like a set of glorified shower curtains?
How does it relate to and enhance the beautiful fireplace?
Upon entering the room, will the visitor find that it obscures the fireplace?
At present, I am unimpressed by an object to which many people have contributed a great deal of time in conception and design.
You raise some interesting points – Oliver and Holly will be able to answer these in more detail, but I’d like to respond briefly to your questions myself too:
1. Firstly, the fabric, which will be hung in dense layers, will have various spaces almost “carved” out of it. People will be able to withdraw into them either as an individual or as a group. Underneath the fabric will be moulded seating so that people, whilst withdrawing, can also rest their legs and contemplate things.
2. One of these carved out spaces will be directly in front of the fireplace – thereby encouraging people not only to look at it and admire it, but also to gather around the fireplace as people might have done in an 18th century Drawing Room.
3. Upon entering the room, most people won’t know there is a fireplace there to see – it will be something they discover as they explore the room in more depth, it will give an element of surprise and intrigue!
4. It’s hard to envisage how the piece will look when it’s not in place – I do understand. However, it’s important to realise that this isn’t a piece of art that we have to judge. It’s a piece of design, a space within a space, which will start conversations and help visitors to think about what “withdrawing” is. The question shouldn’t be whether we like the look of it so much as whether it works for us when we’re talking to visitors. However, I think it will look fantastic too, so we’ll get the best of both worlds!
Thanks for letting us know your thoughts – what are other people’s reactions?
It is a very clever and almost devious argument to say that we should not judge the object, proposed to be a “room within a room”, or “space within a space”, as art.
The last one hundred years are littered with objects that art critics and a gullible public have accepted as works of art, in particular objects alleged to be “conceptual art”. The list would be endless, but as examples one could cite:
a) pile of bricks (Turner Prize);
b) preserved shark (by Hurst);
c) an upside down piano hanging from ceiling;
d) messy unmade bed (Turner Prize, by Emmin);
e) light flashing on and off (Turner Prize 2001, by Martin Creed);
f) blue rectangle (yes, just a blue rectangle, by Yves Klein)
Before the “modern era”, most works of art were capable of communicating the thoughts and ideas of the artist to the observer of that artist’s work, without the need for copious explanation (although admittedly there were some cases of artists including encoded messages or symbols).
The items in the above list all have one thing in common; that they require a half to one side of A4, typed, explaining in detail the ideas the “artist” had when producing the alleged work of art.
The “artist” may just as well have written a pamphlet developing his/her wonderful new idea, and included as an appendix the “art” by way of an illustration of it.
The proposed design “room within a room” (which title, by the way, now appears to have been quietly dropped) is clearly conceptual art by any other name, and is now a corridor leading to the fireplace, requiring extensive explanations to Croome Court visitors, who will doubtless be just as puzzled by it as a “pile of bricks”, a “light flashing on and off”, or a “blue rectangle”.
M J Brown
As a member of a “gullible public” I am really looking forward to seeing the “room within a room”. Having trudged around many Stately piles and old houses, many which offer much the same I applaud the NT and Croome for attempting something different and if it generates half as much interest as the pieces of conceptual art that MJ Brown cites then it will be a major success. Different people look for different things in their exploration and enjoyment of history, culture and heritage and I for one welcome this initiative.
the with drawing room is not there any more. It went three weeks ago.
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