Thursday, March 27, 2008

Summer Art Party at Sudeley Castle


Polly Morgan

The social whirl of the English summer is usually punctuated by plenty of evenings in the depths of the countryside, and the party at Sudeley Castle to celebrate the annual exhibition in its gardens is no different. Though many a heel sank into the lawns, it did not hinder any of the revelers on Saturday night who were toasting the opening of Reconstruction #2 curated by Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst and ASW member Elliot McDonald.

McDonald was particularly pleased with the outcome of the exhibition, which used the semi- ruined walls of the old Tudor castle as an unusual backdrop. “Using a loose theme of mazes and labyrinths, we attracted some of the contemporary art world’s most interesting artists and created wonderful commissions”, he explained. And certainly London’s art world turned out in force including exhibitors Keith Tyson, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, who took to the decks later in the night, as well as other hot young artists like Henry Hudson and Polly Morgan (who combated the rainy weather with baby blue Hunter boots).

While some of the guests fretted about getting wet, there were other things on Conrad Shawcross’ mind: “I was a bit concerned that the fish were going to jump up and nibble my bulbs” he said of his mechanical light sculpture that was positioned in the center of a pond. Other pieces that proved popular with the human guests included Jane and Louise Wilson’s sound piece The silence is twice as fast backwards that took over a narrow yew path and Matt Collishaw’s ghostly Lady M.

When local band The Listening Device fronted by ASW member Harry Worcester mounted the stage and the rain started to pour again the tented dance floor filled quickly with a healthy cross section of actors, fashion types and London’s pretty young social set including Danny Huston, Diana Kamalova, Pam Hogg, Maria Papas and Violet Naylor Leland clad in a tiny turquoise baby doll dress. Other notable guests sipping late night cocktails and huddling in the Moroccan tent away from the rain included jewelry designer and actor Waris Ahluwaria, Alice Bamford, Anthony Haden-Guest and Ali Aitken.

Sophie Hunter, there to support her boyfriend Conrad Shawcross, was one of the last to arrive and as she skipped onto the dance floor in a vintage floor length peach silk dress the smile on her face told all of the evening’s success.

Reconstruction #2 at Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire from June 23, 2007–October 31, 2007
- Staff

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