WORCESTERSHIRE, UK — The Golden Box is an installation created by Bouke de Vries for the National Trust at Croome Court, Worcestershire. Once owned by the Earls of Coventry, it was the first house designed by Capability Brown, who also did the grounds, with their vistas towards the Malvern Hills, and featured early decorative schemes by Robert Adam.The Golden Box displays original ceramics – mainly Sevres and Worcester – borrowed from the Coventry Estate. Great collectors, the family are now lending pieces back to the house.
Dame Helen Ghosh, National Trust Director General, wrote: ‘part of the spirit of place at Croome is to celebrate up and coming, innovative artists, as the Earl of Coventry picked the young Capability Brown and Robert Adam to create the place. The Golden Box, this fabulous creation by Dutch artist Bouke de Vries, was commissioned to show off some of the china in the collection. But it does so much more.
It reflects the views of the parkland outside and brings the outside in. It makes you
see yourself as the observed observer. It picks up the garish colours of the room which Hare Krishna disciples created when they were in occupation, and it enables you to see the china from all angles, impossible in a traditional china cabinet. And it is a thing of beauty. I hope, like the London Eye, it will prove to be a temporary exhibit that becomes permanent. Others, please copy, in ambition if not in identical form!’
About the Artist
Born in Utrecht, The Netherlands, Bouke de Vries studied at the Design Academy Eindhoven, and Central St Martin’s, London, according to his biography. After working with John Galliano, Stephen Jones and Zandra Rhodes, he switched careers and studied ceramics conservation and restoration at West Dean College. Every day in his practice as a private conservator he was faced with issues and contradictions around perfection and worth.
Text (edited) and images courtesy of the Trust.