A Cabinet of Curiosities
Invited to take part in LewesLight again, Hunter Gatherer created another window-based sound and projection experience. Through A Cabinet of Curiosities we glimpse the hidden treasures of Castlegate House a century ago, once family home to dramatist, journalist, biographer, poet and collector, Frank Frankfort Moore (1855-1931). Moore, his wife Dorothy and their family, moved to Castlegate House, Lewes in 1907 and he soon set about designing and creating an exotic garden at the rear of the house and alongside the castle walls. The garden included a temple, formal beds, ponds and various structures, many of which were built using ‘reclaimed’ materials, including marble from a church near Balaclava and stone from the Giant’s Causeway. No doubt satisfied with his creation, he wrote A Garden of Peace: A Medley of Quietude which was published in 1919 – inspiration for the first half of the experience. The photography in the book, and indeed the portraits of the family used throughout the production, were taken by Edward Reeves of Lewes, believed to be the world's longest established photographic business.
The second part of the experience was inspired by a recently discovered hidden treasure. During renovations of the house a curious little book was discovered in a cavity of one of the walls. The book, possibly written as part of a game about a fictional school, Mons Gamaunburg, includes names, rules and songs handwritten in English, Italian and in code. It is believed the book was created by Moore’s daughters – Doretha, Olive, Frances, Marjorie and Ursula. Providing the narration, exerpts from the book are read by Florence Adams, daughter of the current owners of Castlegate House.
In this, the forth LewesLight Festival, 15,000 people attended over three days to view and experience installations throughout the town.
DIRECTION AND PRODUCTION
Art Lewry and Penelope Tull, Hunter Gatherer
SOUND AND LIGHTING INSTALLATION
Edwards Reeves Photography
WITH MANY THANKS TO
Robyn Adams and family
James McCauley (event photography)