‘Caprice featuring Temples, Pantheons, Pyramids, Columns, and Other Architectural Fragments arranged around a Viridian Lake (After the Stourhead Collection)’ is a culmination of a year long commission for Trust New Arts. Mercier was invited to create a new work in response to Stourhead’s Art Collection.
The title refers to the painting genre of the Capriccio, made popular in the mid 17th century Rome, which was used to describe an architectural fantasy; combining architectural elements and archaeological ruins in fictional and often fantastical arrangements, interspaced with figures.
To realise this artwork Anouk individually hand printed reproductions of 47 capriccios and other landscape paintings, prints and drawings from Stourhead’s collection, reassembling hundreds of fragments of these digitally combining them with pastel-coloured clouds and surreal horizons to create a fictional, ‘collaged’ mise-en-scene.
Although clearly influenced by Romanticism, the scene presented deliberately escapes definition; purposefully disrupting obvious references to the past and complacent idylls by hinting at sci-fi, futuristic propositions. Caprice is the artist largest artwork to date.
Caprice, which in French means whim/ sudden will, ultimately celebrates the potential for Art and Landscape Design to influence and shape one another. It acknowledges the parallels existing between Landscape Designer, Gardener and Artist; a common desire to shape and curate a fictional scene, offering up a number of possible narratives and ‘journeys’ to the viewer. It honours the folly and determination involved in doing so.
Stourhead National Trust Website
Anouk Artist Page