Interactive installations at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal

2 May 2018

folly! is part of ‘Trust New Art’, a partnership between the National Trust and Arts Council England.

Internationally recognised architects and artists Charles Holland, Lucy + Jorge Orta and Fleafolly have created installations to bewitch and beguile visitors of all ages at the World Heritage Site. The designs include an exotic and colourful 9m tower, a mirrored sphere which reflects and frames the garden’s many viewpoints, and a curious echo-chamber water tower. A fourth imaginative design by local primary school student Foster Carter has created a suspended cloud inspired by the great Yorkshire weather.

Now in its third year, folly! encourages visitors to explore the water garden as it was originally intended; as a site of play and intrigue with dramatic views that criss-cross the landscape. The Georgian water garden is dotted with follies, fanciful structures designed to catch the eye, and for folly! 2018, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal invited artists to design new art works, or modern-day follies, that are now installed where original 18th century follies have been lost from the landscape.

Justin Scully, General Manager at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal said:

The new artworks continue the great 18th century tradition of follies in landscape gardens; catching the eye and surprising visitors to the garden. This year is the 300th anniversary of Studley Royal and what better way to mark this milestone than by re-imagining the garden’s lost follies through the eyes of some of the UK’s most interesting artists and architects. We hope that over the next few months visitors will see their favourite views and corners of the water garden in new, playful and enlightening ways.


The exhibition runs from 28 April – 4 November 2018




Photographs by Charlotte Graham.



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