Lucy Skaer “A proposal for Mount Stuart” at Mount Stuart Estate, Isle of Bute
“A proposal for Mount Stuart” is Lucy Skaer’s first solo project in Scotland since her Turner Prize nomination and exhibition at Tate Britain in 2009. Skaer has recently returned to live in Glasgow after 4 years in New York.
Mount Stuart is without doubt an extraordinary architectural extravagance. A Neo-Gothic country house, it was built from 1880 for the 3rd Marquess of Bute, who is regarded as the greatest architectural patron of the Victorian age.
Mount Stuart house is located in extensive grounds on the island of Bute off the west coast of Scotland. Taking as her starting point this wealth of architecture, Skaer creates a sequence of site-specific works that are placed in various rooms: the Marble Hall, the Conservatory, Drawing room, Library, Chapel. John Ruskin wrote that Gothic architecture places emphasis on innovation, not only on the part of the architect, but also on the improvisation of the maker: “They were capable of perpetual novelty. The pointed arch was not merely a bold variation of the round, but it admitted of millions of variations in itself…the introduction of tracery was not only a startling change in the treatment of window lights, but admitted endless changes in the tracery bars themselves.”
Lars Spubroek, in his recent book ‘The sympathy of things: The digital nature of the gothic’ notes: “the Gothic is an architecture of relationality, of entanglement, an architecture that constantly forges new relationships and expresses them in every possible form and shape.” Taking the neo-gothic architecture of Mount Stuart as an invitation to extend and respond, Skaer produces a series of sculptural interventions that grow from the visual language of the house. The sculptures connect the materials, gestures and forms of the house, improvising a contemporary interface to a historic setting.
until 31 October 2013