29th July – 5th November 2023
This second phase of ‘An Apple Gathering’ unveils more artworks and delves deeper into the artistic and narrative aspects of the apple, captivating visitors with thought-provoking artworks and stories.
At the heart of the exhibition is the remarkable sculpture titled ‘This Earth of Majesty, This Seat of Mars’ by artist Barnaby Barford, courtesy of David Gill Gallery, London. The artwork is prominently placed with a dramatic Herefordshire landscape panorama and examines the desires of those in power, their insatiable hunger for more, and the profound effects it has on society, the country, and the planet. Inspired by John Gaunt’s famous speech in Shakespeare’s play Richard II, the title itself carries ironic nostalgia, reflecting upon what Britain and the world once were, and the challenges they face today.
The Mappa Mundi in Hereford Cathedral, an extraordinary map showcasing various races and legends, introduces another intriguing apple narrative. Amongst them are the Gangines, a mythical people who supposedly live near the source of the Ganges, sustaining themselves solely on the aroma of wild apples. Artist Lucy Baxendale brings this legend to life through her porcelain sculpture, depicting an apple blossom sniffer with a green apple-scented incense cone atop a tree laden with blossoms. The intertwined foliage of the tree reaches out to the figure, conveying an enthrallment with the intoxicating scent.
In addition to the captivating sculptures by Barnaby Barford and Lucy Baxendale, the exhibition showcases work by over 20 artists encompassing a diverse range of media including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, glassworks, music and photography.
The exhibition has been made possible with the generous support of private galleries and museum lenders including the Museum of Cider, Hereford which showcases a variety of ceramic sculptures such as the ‘Apple Blossom Sniffer’ and the ‘Sculpture Pomona’.
The second phase also introduces ‘The Apples of Herefordshire’s Eye’, a display in the castle, offering visitors a unique opportunity to view the original watercolours from the historic Herefordshire Pomona – a book which delves into the qualities of heritage apples which are illustrated in minute and delicious detail. The remarkable watercolours highlight the significance of Herefordshire’s apple history in terms of growing, cider making and apple identification and feature apples which still exist in Croft Castle’s walled garden orchard.
Contemporary artworks are woven into the exhibition including ‘Given’ a painted sculpted bronze piece by artist Gavin Turk, deliberately placed within a grand dining room setting whilst evoking thoughts of decay and humanity.
‘An Apple Gathering’ at Croft Castle stands as a testament to Herefordshire’s traditional orchards and the enduring legacy of apples in the region. With each artwork and story, the exhibition celebrates the heritage of Croft Castle and pays homage to influential figures like Thomas Andrew Knight, who left an indelible mark on the apple-growing landscape.
Visitors are encouraged to explore ‘An Apple Gathering’ and experience the power of art and storytelling to evoke reflection, curiosity, and a deeper appreciation for the role of apples in our lives.
This exhibition is part of the Apples & People programme, a partnership between the Brightspace Foundation, the Museum of Cider and the National Trust in Herefordshire.
Please note that normal National Trust admission fees apply to visit this exhibition at Croft Castle.
The Orchard at Croft Castle
Herefordshire’s traditional orchards are a huge part of the county’s heritage, and the area is well known for its fruit trees and cider. The orchards at Croft Castle support numerous mature specimens, including many Old Herefordshire varieties, such as Adam’s Pearmain, King’s Acre Bountiful, and Herefordshire Beefing.
The majority of the apple trees at Croft are thought to have been planted in the 1920s, judging by some of the archive photos. There is a collection of 60 mature specimens of around 30 cultivars. Old Herefordshire varieties at Croft include Adam’s Pearmain, Brown Snout, Doctor Hare, Downton Pippin, Gennet Moyle, King’s Acre Bountiful and Herefordshire Beefing.
In a field of about two acres near the farm at Croft there is a collection of very old apple trees, twisted with age but still productive. Some lie on their sides like wrecked ships and the smallish green apples with a red flush have an odd, somewhat ancient flavour of well-matured cider with a peppery aftertaste.
Croft Castle and Parkland
Croft Castle is a 17th century castellated manor house, home to the Croft family since 1085. The castle and estate passed out of their hands in the 18th century, before being repurchased by the family in 1923. In 1957 it was bequeathed to the National Trust.
Croft Castle contains many works of art and the large estate features many scenic walks including ancient trees, hill forts, restored valleys and woodlands.
The castle has many rooms including: The Hall, The gallery, The Dining Room, The Oak Room, The Blue Room, The Saloon, The Library, The Library Ante-Room and The Ambassador’s Room.
There are gardens, orchard, church, tea-room, parkland, second-hand bookshop and a children’s play area near the castle.
There are walks up onto the Iron Age hill fort of Croft Ambry. You can see some of the impressive collection of 300 veteran trees, including a 750 year old Candelabra Oak, a Spanish chestnut avenue dating back to the time of the Armada. Perhaps visit the picturesque ‘Fishpool Valley’ so loved by the Victorians and Edwardians.
For opening times and further information:
Visiting Croft Castle and Parkland on the National Trust website
Please note that normal National Trust admission fees apply to visit this exhibition at Croft Castle
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‘A Variety of Cultures’
Museum of Cider, Herefordshire, England
27th October 2023 – 28th January 2024
Angela Hung talking about 'A Variety of Cultures' Exhibition and Apples & People.The exhibition runs at the Museum of Cider in Hereford until 28th January 2024.'A Variety of Cultures' is a landmark exhibition for the Museum of Cider. A must-see for everyone interested in art, everyone who likes apples, and anyone looking for positive international connections in these troubled times.Exploring how cultures across the globe have taken the apple and made it their own. This exhibition brings important international artworks to the Museum of Cider in Hereford.One of the highlights is a large collection of nineteenth century Australian model apples lent by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew that have never before been seen outside London.There is also work by New Zealand pop artist Billy Apple, Chinese art including a Cultural Revolution poster courtesy of the Ashmolean Museum, and a new commission by Anglo-French artist Anne Rook who has created a body of work which looks at the iconography associated with varieties of apples.@museumofcider @applesandpeople#applesandpeople #appleart #applestories #exhibition #museumofcider #cider #apples ... See MoreSee Less
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