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The eighteenth-century English water gardens were often designed with playful intent. Picnicking visitors would be surprised as fountains spouted without notice and perplexed as they stumbled upon mysteriously evocative structures like gazebos and banquet halls. At Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Park in Yorkshire, home to one of the world’s best-preserved water gardens, these historic botanic and architectural follies—or, impractical, playful forms—were once abundant. Today, they’re being reinterpreted through equally whimsical contemporary art installations. Featuring sculptural work by architects Charles Holland, Lucy + Jorge Orta, Fleafolly, and Foster Carter—a precocious local grade-school student—folly! opened on April 28 in the gardens of Studley Royal Park. Supported by Trust New Arts, a partnership between the National Trust and Arts Council England, the below installations will be on view until November 4 on the sites of the Georgian garden’s lost follies.  View more View full description
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