The innovative furniture of self-taught Irish furniture maker, artist, and designer Joseph Walsh is organic and sinuous.

His studio on the family farm in County Cork is near to Lismore Castle, the Irish home of the Devonshire family, and Walsh had already completed several major works for Chatsworth before this exhibition was conceived.

The pieces on display at Chatsworth in the South Sketch Galleries are largely made using steam-bent wood. The gravity-defying wall brackets are sculptures that also serve as supports for other objects, echoing the functional furniture used to display collected material throughout the galleries. Each sinuous shape is built up from many thin layers of wood, which are then carved by hand. The process is ancient – it was once used to make bows – but Walsh adapts it to create contemporary shapes. The brackets were custom-made for the Galleries to display ceramics from the collection. 

The Enignum VIII Bed, arguably the most spectacular of Walsh’s creations for Chatsworth has been relocated to the Sabine Room for this exhibition to create a new dialogue with the surrounding wall and ceiling paintings by Sir James Thornhill from 1707. 

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