The Decorative Hermit and the Machine for Drawing
“The work references a performance piece at Croft by Mark in 2012 (‘make of me what you will’) and the tradition whereby aristocracy in the 17th and early 18th centuries would house and support a hermit in their picturesque landscapes who would then become an object of fascination to visitors.
This project is a collaboration between designer David Connor and sculptor Mark Richards. The work displayed in Croft Castle’s stables is the design and model for a floating hermitage, which David has designed, in which Mark would spend nine days drawing as a means of contemplating nature. David and Mark are seeking further funding in order to build the hermitage as a real dwelling.
Over the course of the Time Will Tell programme, Connor & Richards have been to Croft to gather information about the site. Mark Richards has completed a series of artist’s talks with members of the public, including guided walks around the property’s grounds.
The hermitage (or hermitcЯaft) is an extraordinary object. A dome shaped two-storey cabin clad in sycamore shingles stands on a raft supporting a deck chair, which can be extended over the water and swivelled in any direction. Drawing will take place from the chair as well as at other positions around the craft and will be visible from the shore. The drawings will be cabled to shore and be free for visitors to take away.
It is hoped that, in exchange, food and water will be left for the hermit to sustain him throughout the duration of the performance.
The hermitcЯaft continues a theme in David’s work based upon the folly. It is a habitation, observatory and studio that functions like a hide but which itself is being watched.”