Out and About: Tony Cragg at Houghton Hall

What makes wandering around a stately home even better? Wandering a stately home filmed with some stunning contemporary art of course!

The beautiful house and gardens of Houghton Hall regularly play host to some fantastic art exhibitions, perfectly juxtaposing classic British architecture and landscaping with breathtaking modern and contemporary sculpture from all over the world. Their current exhibition, a solo show of works by British sculptor Tony Cragg is no exception.

Cragg's career spans over 50 years and his work is instantly recognisable - large-scale, tactile forms that are organic yet alien, with forms that seem to defy the materials in which they are made. 

This particular exhibition, curated by the artist himself, sees a number of large-scale bronze and steel sculptures standing sentinel in the gardens and grounds, as well as smaller pieces shown in the State rooms and gallery spaces of the Hall, providing a remarkable backdrop for these equally remarkably sculptures.

Outside, some the sculptures are almost playfully positioned in ways that feel both a part of the landscape, like Versus (pictured above), which seems to be at one with the trees that frame it, yet also separate - it's shining bronze cutting through the soft foliage. Another example we loved was Skull (pictured below) with chalky tones that echoed the walls around, but curved, almost chaotic lines sitting in contrast against the geometry of the brickwork.


Inside the house is a different affair, yet no less beautiful or surprising, with these alien forms spaced as if strange visitors to the Hall themselves, inviting you to take a turn about the room with them. They're out of place, but not in a bad way -  perfectly encapsulating how it feels (at least for the majority of us!) to be sauntering around in a stately home.

Tony Cragg at Houghton Hall is well worth a visit, and if you're in the area why not pop over to Holt and visit our home & lifestyle store and Star Plain Stores next door.

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