Monday, 3 October 2011

Secret Light Garden at Picton Castle 2011

It came and went, a flash in the night, kaleidoscopic castle, luminous tree tops, strangers in the light, illuminated peepholes, real ghosts and willowy giants, spooky lake and a glowing snail. What I love about Secret Light Garden at Picton Castle is that once you step through the gateway you immediately feel like you are entering another world. The colours and shapes of all that is familiar disolve into something else cartoon like and a wonderland. The art trail entices you to explore the nooks and crannies. As you go along you discover some intriguing,puzzling, mysterious objects. A huge plastic water tank, suspended overhead, becomes a pulsating light with deep philisophical ponderings printed on it for the literate to articulate to the very young. On you go and a saxophone playing shadow serenades you as you pass by. You turn and find a garden of small ultraviolet flowers never before seen on earth. Beyond oversized glowing tulips spur you further on into the shrubs and trees, turn around and the castle is invisible transformed into a swirling iris shooting out light from every compass point. What's this? A door just there in a clearing. You open it and a light is switched on to reveal a couple laughing, close it and they are gone open it again and another image appears a man on a scooter in a desert. What a strange house you are thinking when you next encounter a wardrobe but it won't open. You can hear something inside a radio perhaps quietly broadcasting, you notice little holes in the side where light from within shines out. You peer through and get tantalising glimpses of a room or rooms, belongings, photographs, old fashioned, vintage wallpaper. Who lives here, are they in, are they small, are they asleep, dozing off to the humming radio. We walk further amongst cedars and vines touching beautiful carvings, sitting on toadstools, climbing on trees. A band strikes up accordian and fiddle and we examine strange glowing moluscs gathered in an aquarium. Back on the lawn below the castle we clamber like children onto giant wooden chairs where we can all sit together to watch the lights play. Have you seen the ghosts someone asks over by the door in the wall over there. We leave our perch to witness the sight. There they are.
They appear through the door and sit on the step, two ladies in white from another time, oblivious to us, chatting, drinking, laughing. They are gone but another appears, a man who digs the flower beds to the side of the steps. Little children go up to him and try to feel him, touch him but he is not there he is not real he is a ghost they say. Another vision appears a young woman with her broom, she sweeps each step, looks around, her work is done and she is gone. Like a wisp of mist. Come back you want to say and if you wait and wait she will.
I bumped into friends I hadn't seen in a while and made new ones I hope to see again.
When closing time came we were tired and happy but a little sad to say goodnight.
Last year they thought they would not do it again, I am so glad they did, next year they say it will be their last.
I am sure it will be something special. Everybody contributed their time and creativity free of charge and there was an agreeably organic evolving of it's design and spaces. Gareth, Jen, Ashley, Roddy and Nixy did a good job to make it so. So thanks to them and all. The chocolate cake maker, hot chocolate and mochas to die for. And Beanie Dog woofed her special sausage rolls glad I had forgotten her usual munch. Happy all round.xx

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