Langlands and Bell: Re awakening (2004)
During an initial research visit to Mount Stuart, artists Langlands and Bell came across the tiny and exquisitely detailed family chapel dedicated to St John the Evangelist and designed in 1873 by the renowned architect William Burges.
The chapel mixes Gothic and Byzantine architectural styles in a space that is no more than 5x7 meters in size. Partly inspired by the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, its walls and altar are richly decorated with allegorical friezes of male and female saints, and references to the Holy Land. The structure is discretely - almost secretly - located in one of two remaining sections of the 'old house', which survived the fire of 1877 and has previously remained inaccessible to visitors.
Langlands and Bell's intention is to 're awaken' the space through a full-scale mirrored installation, enabling people to focus on the role and history of the chapel, and its unique characteristics as an architectonic environment dedicated to the spiritual and to art. The installation encourages contemplation and a critical engagement with the space and its narratives. Visitors themselves step in to the 'reflection portrait', interacting with both actual and virtual space.
Art Historian Tim Knox and Art Review's Deputy Editor Charlotte Edwards wrote essays exploring Langlands and Bell's installation at Mount Stuart, read them here:
Access to the Chapel is made by special appointment. Please call 01700 503877 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.