The Ultimate Sculpture
Flycatcher Castle was designed as a massive sculpture to be created in bricks and concrete. Building operations started in May 2005 and six years later I am still doing some last minute finishing touches. Picture research of castles in Europe and Britain and onsite inspections of St. Colamba Presbyterian Church in Parkview, Johannesburg (built along the style of a castle in Scotland) were the most important preparatory steps before I started off with a clay marquette (about 600mm X 400mm X 200mm) and then handed it over to a gifted draughtsman who translated it into building language.
Several other aspects of design came into fruition only when specific building materials from old demolished buildings in Johannesburg or imported from Europe became available. For example, to create a uniform window style, all Oregan pine/steel framed pane windows in the front of the building came from a 1940's demolished house in Kensington, Johannesburg. The street lamp poles and main door entrance originated from Old Britain. The large old sandstone cornerstones originated from derelict houses in the Free State.
The castle has four towers: three main ones integrated into the main building and the fourth added at the back as part of the Ruby Royal Suite. To create a framed, balanced finish the largest and smallest towers (same height) were placed on extreme ends of a triangular structure and the second largest in the middle, immediately next to the baroque, main front facade. Castle Nuovou in Italy was an inspiration to create a grand baroque entrance façade that offers a strong contrast to the otherwise weathered look of the rest of the castle.
Herewith follows some pictures and short descriptions of some important features of Flycatcher Castle. However, they still present only a fraction of the overall detailed character.
A gilded eagle (“New Life”) adorns the top of the baroque entrance…
Cladded sandstone corner blocks were used when I ran out of natural, solid sandstone.
The front garden mirrors the circular shapes of the towers..
The iridescence on the polished granite pieces are very charming..
Embracing inner terror (1)
An alcove framed with solid sandstone blocks..
Embracing inner terror (2)
The theme of this sculpture is abstract to the extreme…
Christ sculpture (1)
The special challenge in creating the master copy of this sculpture was to…
Christ sculpture (2)
This life size sculpture of the resurrected Christ…
…an arms-open welcome to guests…
Ruby throne chamber
The main feature is the back wall with a clown’s face looking down…
Creating and constructing the mirrored ceiling in the bedroom tower…
Arabic theme (1)
A series of appropriate Arabic words (love, sweetheart, mistress, orgasm)…
Arabic theme (2)
Pelmets with a typical Arabic design, decorated with ruby jewels…
Stained glass windows
Wow, did I regret this design!! Check all the components…
Stained glass mock windows and cornices
These typical castle windows are actually mock windows….
Lead glass design and cornice
I created this Art Deco design and a brilliant lady from Harrysmith manufactured it
Art deco pillar frame
The tall, slender pillars sunken into the edges of the entrance to this staircase…
Art deco fan mirror
The inspiration for this large (2 X 3 meters) fan mirror came from…
Classical oval mirror frame
The master copy was carved in wood and the leaves were sculpted in clay…