Flycatcher Castle

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.

Main facade
Main facade

A gilded eagle (“New Life”) adorns the top of the baroque entrance…

Cladding
Cladding

Cladded sandstone corner blocks were used when I ran out of natural, solid sandstone.

Garden design
Garden design

The front garden mirrors the circular shapes of the towers..

Paving design
Paving design

The iridescence on the polished granite pieces are very charming..

Embracing inner terror (1)
Embracing inner terror (1)

An alcove framed with solid sandstone blocks..

Embracing inner terror (2)
Embracing inner terror (2)

The theme of this sculpture is abstract to the extreme…

Christ sculpture (1)
Christ sculpture (1)

The special challenge in creating the master copy of this sculpture was to…

Christ sculpture (2)
Christ sculpture (2)

This life size sculpture of the resurrected Christ…

Garden angel
Garden angel

…an arms-open welcome to guests…

Ruby throne chamber
Ruby throne chamber

The main feature is the back wall with a clown’s face looking down…

Ruby bedroom
Ruby bedroom

Creating and constructing the mirrored ceiling in the bedroom tower…

Arabic theme (1)
Arabic theme (1)

A series of appropriate Arabic words (love, sweetheart, mistress, orgasm)…

Arabic theme (2)
Arabic theme (2)

Pelmets with a typical Arabic design, decorated with ruby jewels…

Stained glass windows
Stained glass windows

Wow, did I regret this design!! Check all the components…

Stained glass mock windows and cornices
Stained glass mock windows and cornices

These typical castle windows are actually mock windows….

Lead glass design and cornice
Lead glass design and cornice

I created this Art Deco design and a brilliant lady from Harrysmith manufactured it

Art deco pillar frame
Art deco pillar frame

The tall, slender pillars sunken into the edges of the entrance to this staircase…

Art deco fan mirror
Art deco fan mirror

The inspiration for this large (2 X 3 meters) fan mirror came from…

Classical oval mirror frame
Classical oval mirror frame

The master copy was carved in wood and the leaves were sculpted in clay…