Le Cateau pupil’s outdoor sculpture design to become reality

Architectural visualisation of Foster Carter’s original design prepared by North Yorkshire Society of Architects.

A Richmondshire pupil will see his design for an outdoor sculpture become a reality this April when folly! returns to Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal near Ripon.

11-year-old Foster Carter, from Le Cateau Primary School in Catterick Garrison, won a competition organised by North Yorkshire Society of Architects to design an interactive outdoor sculpture as part of folly! 2018, the National Trust site’s contemporary art programme.

Following design workshops run by local architects at 50 primary schools across Yorkshire and the North East and entered by over 1700 children, winning student Foster designed the Raining Cloud.

The sculpture will use a 4.2m wooden frame to hold up a cloud of collected rain water, and will be situated at Silver Pond, near the entrance to the World Heritage Site garden of Studley Royal.

Now in its third year, folly! encourages visitors to explore the water garden as it was originally intended; as a site of play and intrigue with dramatic views that criss-cross the landscape.

The Georgian water garden is dotted with historic follies, fanciful structures designed to catch the eye, and for 2018, artists and architects have reimagined the garden’s lost follies which have long-disappeared from the landscape.

Alongside Foster’s creation, internationally recognised architects and artists Charles Holland, Lucy and Jorge Orta and Fleafolly will create three large-scale new works which will surprise and entertain visitors of all ages to the World Heritage Site.

The designs include an outlandish 9m tall tower, evocative of an exotic bird, a mirrored sphere which will reflect and frame the garden’s many viewpoints, and a curious echo-chamber water tower.

Project Officer Aimee Rawson said “We loved the simplicity and playfulness of Foster’s design.

“The Raining Cloud appeals to children and adults alike, and will look stunning in the landscape of the water garden.

“Folly! is all about having fun and adventure in the gardens, and we know our visitors will love exploring the space around the sculpture and ducking and diving through the rain as it is collected and falls!”

Being chosen as the winner of the folly! design competition has meant a great deal to Foster and his family.

Foster’s mum Evelyn Carter said: “Foster was diagnosed as autistic when he was seven so winning the design competition will be brilliant for his confidence.

“We’re over the moon and Foster is thrilled to bits to have won. It just shows that when you put your mind to something, you can achieve it.

“He’s taking the design process really seriously and looking forward to visiting the site for its installation.”

Foster said: “I was really surprised when my head teacher Mr Mottram told me I’d won the competition.

“I chose a raincloud because it was something different and something I really like. Winning has made me extremely happy.”

The design will be realised by local fabricators Stage One who created Kew’s Hive and the Serpentine Gallery’s Pavillion amongst others.

Tim Leigh, Marketing Director at Stage One said: “Foster’s design is thought provoking and elegant in equal measure.

“In the Sound of Music, Maria asks ‘How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?’.

“Foster shows us exactly how with his brilliant design. I’m looking forward to seeing it come to life in the Stage One workshops.”

Ruth Donnelly, North Yorkshire Society of Architects, said: “We were thrilled to be able to encourage children to engage creatively with their surroundings and to see their imaginations run free with the endless possibilities of what a folly could be.

“We received such an amazing array of weird and wonderful ideas from all of the children who submitted their designs, that it was incredibly difficult to choose a winner. In the end it was the originality of Foster’s design that really stood out for us.

“We cannot wait to work with Stage One to see his drawing turned into reality.”

folly! opens at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal on 28 April and runs until 4 November.