folly! is a series of contemporary art exhibitions curated by the National Trust and held at the World Heritage Site of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal.
The landscape of Studley Royal Water Garden is decorated with extravagant architectural jewels — follies, from which the exhibition takes its name. Much like these buildings, the exhibition is playful and experimental – reimagining existing follies and recreating concepts long lost to history. The intent is to challenge visitors’ preconceptions of what a World Heritage Site should look like and revive the whimsical spirit of the Georgian era.
Transforming a World Heritage Site
The brand that we developed was inspired by the curious and mysterious aspects of the first exhibition in 2015. The elegant typographic approach, with hidden and eroded sections, fitted the brief and also had the potential to evolve through the years.
For the following instalments of folly! in 2016 and 2018, we developed the look to fit with the theme and nature of the artworks. The first development used distortion and movement to echo the illusions created by artist Mat Collishaw in his works Pineal Eye and Seria Ludo — a revolving chandelier zoetrope.
The latest folly! in 2018 took another angle, with four striking artworks designed by international architects. Their brief was to reimagine the ‘lost follies’ — buildings that had vanished from the landscape, or were planned but never realised. The contemporary follies had a playful nature, so the brand and marketing took on a more illustrative style making it more inclusive to a younger audience.