How to wrap a column: Compton Verney

Ever look at a building and think ‘what if we….’? Well, here at the DP huddle we’re always asking ourselves these questions. So when Compton Verney approached us to bring an installation by Morag Myerscough to life, the Penguins jumped at the chance to scratch this particular itch.

And the itch was wrapping the four Portland stone portico pillars of the listed Robert Adam building. This project provided the sort of challenge we like – working with Artist & Designer Morag Myerscough design to create an installation, and then working out how to print and install such a big commission – these columns are 8m high. Working closely with a trusted supplier, we sourced material that was breathable to protect the stonework from moisture build-up but durable enough to withstand the elements and long sun exposure and frost but still provide the bright colour we were after. Together we worked out the correct dimensions so the wraps fitted correctly and how to secure them so they wouldn’t ruffle or sag over time. And finally a method was developed to install the wraps using a cherry picker. The result was a huge impactful ‘wow’ artwork that completely transformed Compton Verney and became an Instagram sensation.

And the art installation was so successful, we did it again! This time the column wraps were part of a Compton Verney commission with visual artist Jane Thakoordin to co-produce a large-scale scheme for ‘dressing’ the columns, co-designed and created with Saathi House, Birmingham. Design Penguin took details from the small pennant banners the group designed to create a striking repeated quilt-like pattern for each of the four columns with the words taken from the women’s artwork.

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