This exhibition has now finished

An Apple Gathering – Part 2

Croft Castle, Herefordshire, England

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.