Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Spirit of Cragside Is All in One Box

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Spirit of Cragside Is All in One Box

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Henderson Environment Editor tony.henderson@ncjmedia.co.uk

ARTISTS have banded together to create a box of tricks as the latest attraction for visitors at a National Trust Northumberland estate.

The Musical Box is at the centre of a rhododendron labyrinth on the Cragside estate near Rothbury.

The fun creation aims to reflect the inventive flair of Cragside's owner Lord Armstrong and his interest in water power, electricity and garden plants.

Fashioned from a converted hut in the centre of the labyrinth, the Musical Box is a result of a collaboration between artists brought together by Alnwick-based creative event and project management company Culture Creative.

Director Zoe Bottrell said: "We hope that children and adults alike are drawn to the labyrinth to discover this unique piece of play, engineering and art.

"The Musical Box truly reflects the spirit of Cragside - striking from the outside, fascinating beneath the surface. We're bringing a little bit of magic to the heart of the labyrinth".

Visitors can generate power to work the Musical Box's installations by turning cranks, operating water pumps and using a swan pedalo.

Sound artist Dan Fox has created two musical boxes. A circular handle on one of the panels on the outside of the hut can be turned to power a dynamo which then plays the music.

Dan said: "Cragside is an inspiring and challenging location . "Using Armstrong's innovation as a starting point, I aim to create a piece that is fun, educational, interactive, engaging for all ages, durable and beautiful to listen to."

Sculpture artist Steve Blaylock will be showcasing his metal flower sculptures, which will be powered by bikes.

The flowers are always visible but when powered will rotate and the petals will move steel sculptures as part of the design.

The exterior panel designs for the Musical Box have been created by Newcastle based graphic design studio Founded.

Director Simon Douglas said: "We were immediately excited by the concept of the Musical Box and the collaboration of artists, engineers and designers and believe the finished piece will be a unique and highly successful attraction. …

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