'A magical and unexplored place'

Trees at Castell Coch Image copyright Jon Pountney

Photographer Jon Pountney has been exploring the woodland around Castell Coch in south Wales while working as Cadw's artist in residence ahead of an exhibition.

The show is the culmination of three months work in a variety of lens-based art media and will include a large zoetrope inside the courtyard, as well as a camera obscura inside a caravan pitched on the green.

The pictures shown here were all taken in the woods at Castell Coch on very old expired film stock.

Image copyright Jon Pountney

To prove the basis of an idea can come from virtually anywhere, Pountney told me that this work was inspired by the glass bedknobs on Lady Bute's bed in the castle. The glass bulbs refract the light, giving Pountney the idea to find new ways of seeing and displaying the work. The woodland images are to be projected onto screens in Lady Margaret's bedroom.

"By pushing the technical capabilities of the lenses and film, I've hoped to illustrate the timeless nature of the wood," said Pountney.

"I bought ten expired (mid 1980s) slide films, and really pushed them, using over and under exposure, lens flare, and shooting the same film twice to achieve serendipitous double exposures. The Zuiko 35mm and 50mm lenses were wide open to give a soft and dreamlike effect.

"My aim was to re-introduce the idea of the woodland as a magical and unexplored place, almost in an Arthurian sense, reflecting the architectural pastiche of the castle.

"This project builds on previous collaborative work between myself and Cadw and our shared belief in both the benefits of and connection between art and heritage. I hope people will see Castell Coch in a new way after they visit my exhibition."

Art in the Castle can be seen at Castell Coch, Tongwynlais, Cardiff, Wales, on 13 and 14 of August

Image copyright Jon Pountney
Image copyright Jon Pountney
Image copyright Jon Pountney
Image copyright Jon Pountney
Image copyright Jon Pountney
Image copyright Jon Pountney
Image copyright Jon Pountney
Image copyright Jon Pountney
Image copyright Jon Pountney
Image copyright Jon Pountney
Image copyright Jon Pountney
Image copyright Jon Pountney

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