The Dunmore Pineapple

This is one of eight recently arrived pieces from Ed Kluz, made of painted paper, cut out and collaged scenes from Scotland. The Dunmore Pineapple is a summerhouse in the grounds of Dunmore Park, 30 miles north west of Edinburgh. It is available to let from The Landmark Trust, and this dramatic moonlit dream’s-eye view may well be the result of an overnight stay.

Ed is also currently exhibiting in the new art gallery at Mottisfont Abbey, Hampshire in Cutting Edge: Contemporary Paper Art, where he is showing “six grand paper houses on a miniature scale, mythical creations sheltering beneath Victorian glass domes”.

Paper is an ordinary material – almost the most ordinary readily available material that can be found. We use it in many different forms every day – newspapers, egg boxes, toilet paper, writing paper, packaging, leaflets, receipts. We have a long standing and direct relationship with paper. It is accessible to absolutely everyone, and we are acutely aware of its qualities and uses. This gives me something to work against as an artist – finding new ways to work with paper, and reworking it in an unexpected way.

Mottisfont is named after the spring that wells up in the grounds, where also runs the River Test, considered one of the finest chalk streams in the world. Roger Deakin in his book Waterlog wrote of swimming in this river. “I crossed a gravelly bend, swimming across the current into the confluence, a pool screened with bullrushes along the far bank. Some early swallows swooped low over the water. Squadrons of shadowy trout darted against the pale, stony bed creating bow-waves as they sped away. I turned and glided downstream, brushed by fronds of water crowfoot that gave cover to the trout as well as to the nymphs of the mayflies that would soon emerge to seduce them. No wonder trout love the Test. It is fast, startlingly clear, and alternates between riffling shallows and deeper pools. The bottom is chalky gravel with the odd worn brick. And there’s plenty of cover.” Mottisfont is also home to trompe l’oeil wall paintings by Rex Whistler and a surprising collection of 20th century paintings donated by Derek Hill, but what I remember best from my visit in 2008 are these magnificent plane trees, reputed to be the largest in the country.

You can read more about this exhibition at Culture 24.

Frames of reference

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