Thursday, 18 July 2019

Turners House - Moon installation unveiled the week we celebrate moon landing


Carvell's sculpture evokes the magic of a moonlit garden and was inspired by Turner’s nighttime painting, Fishermen at Sea (The first oil painting Turner exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1796 and now at Tate Britain).  The focal point is an abstract moon above a tower, which he had originally designed for his home. It also features the coloured lay-light above the stairs, and to the right are clouds photographed at Richmond one day when Carvell had just left the lodge; the stairs fan out to add a sense of motion leading down to vivid fuchsia foxgloves which add colour to this part of the garden in the summer. Nicky used colourful oil pastels to amplify and abstract feelings of joy in British summertime. Bottom right in the piece is a detail of a Turquerie carpet which Turner and his father were known to have collected, an example of which can be seen in the bedroom.  The sculpture is curved to mirror the architecture of Sandycombe Lodge and the plinth has been designed in the shape of an eye.

It is one of two pieces which play with the notion of light passing through coloured surfaces in two translucent sculptures; Solus Lodge is installed in the house and the other called Moon Dial will be placed in the garden in which Turner’s father worked. The piece is designed to cast ever-changing coloured patterns and shadows onto the ground much like a sun dial does. The curved panels have been made from thick acrylic with painted and vinyl wrapped elements and an implied 'sun' and 'moon' at the pinnacle of both works made from metal.

The pieces also give a visual nod to the replicated boat models in the house and the outlines of ships which Turner painted such as Admiral Van Tromp's Barge.

“I love the curves in forms as these big ships confront the winds, holding strong in the storm. And as the Lodge is situated near the river, I wanted to keep this nautical theme and for this interaction with nature to be apparent in the works in an abstract manner”.

The sculptures have been decorated with textures from both the house, garden and river (such as the penny line pointing between the brickwork and the Turquerie rugs) bringing the inside outside and vice-versa. Semi-circular forms echo both the shape of the windows throughout the house and rainbows in his paintings such as Arundel Castle on the River Arun, with a Rainbow.

Repeat viewings of the house and garden will reward visitors with the sculptures’ constantly changing appearance along with the weather, emulating Turner's genius in capturing mutable moments in time.

Turner’s House, Sandycombe Lodge, 40 Sandycoombe Road, St Margarets, Twickenham TW1 2LR is open Wednesday-Sunday: 12–1pm: Self-guided visits, and 1-4pm: Guided Tours turnershouse.orgSocial Media Twitter:@TurnersHouse  Facebook Instagram