More than 25 leading artists, curators and writers are heading to the Peak District this weekend (Friday 18 - 20 September) to launch ‘The Chatsworth Festival – Art Out Loud’, a major new literary festival dedicated to art. (Press call: media are welcome throughout the festival but requests for filming, interviews, photographs etc should be made in advance).

Festival speakers include Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry CBE considering art history’s web of connections and influences and what they mean for artists; and the writer, broadcaster and art historian Tim Marlow talking about Ai Weiwei as a major new exhibition of the artist’s work opens at the Royal Academy.

They are joined by journalist and author Simon Jenkins; portrait artist Jonathan Yeo; BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz; novelists Esther Freud and Hannah Rothschild and many more (see ‘notes to editors’ for full list) to discuss their work, their influences and inspirations and the latest developments in the arts world.

Conrad Shawcross, who stole the show at this year’s Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, will also be speaking about his work including his vast modular sculpture ‘The Dappled Light of the Sun’. A variation of this sculpture is on view at Chatsworth as part of 'Beyond Limits: The Landscape of British Sculpture 1950-2015' (14 Sept-25 Oct), Sotheby’s 10th annual monumental sculpture exhibition, which is running in the garden.

Talks will take place in a marquee on the private South lawn and in the historic Theatre. Tickets are on sale at priced at £12.50 per talk and include entry to the garden and the sculpture exhibition, Beyond Limits.

‘Art Out Loud’ continues Chatsworth’s long association with the literary world. The Duke of Devonshire owns the antiquarian bookshop ‘Heywood Hill’ in Mayfair where his aunt Nancy Mitford, author of ‘Love in a Cold Climate’, worked during WWII, while his mother Deborah Cavendish was a successful published author of more than a dozen books including ‘Wait for Me’ and ‘Tearing Haste’.

‘Art Out Loud’ is the latest addition to a burgeoning arts scene at Chatsworth. As well as ‘Beyond Limits’, the ‘Make Yourself Comfortable’ exhibition of contemporary seating takes place in the house until October while the ‘Grand Tour’programme of exhibitions and events began in July in conjunction with Nottingham Contemporary, the Harley Gallery and Derby Museums.

Beyond Limits features more than 30 monumental sculptures in the grounds at Chatsworth – the largest Beyond Limits show to date. Other highlights include Barbara Hepworth’s ‘Three Obliques (Walk-In)’ and Anthony Caro’s ‘Sunshine’, alongside works by Antony Gormley, Sarah Lucas, Reg Butler and Philip King.


Notes to editors:

1. Art Out Loud
Friday 18 September
Tim Marlow: the writer, broadcaster and art historian talks about Ai Weiwei as a major new exhibition of the artist’s work opens at the Royal Academy where Marlow is Director of Artistic Programmes.
Hannah Rothschild: the writer and film director is in conversation with Rachel Campbell-Johnston about her first novel “The Improbability of Love” published May 2015.
Philip Hook: Senior specialist in Impressionist and Modern Art, Director of Sotheby’s and author of “Breakfast at Sotheby’s; An A-Z of the Art World”, he gives the inside track on the business of buying and selling art.
Helen Rosslyn: the art historian and film maker looks at some of the rarely seen highlights of the Devonshire Collection of prints and explains how an early encounter with them contributed to her own passion for prints.

Saturday 19 September
Duke of Devonshire: in conversation with Rachel Campbell-Johnston, the Duke discusses the continuing work being done to establish Chatsworth as an important destination for contemporary art.
Fiona McCarthy: the award winning biographer of Eric Gill and William Morris talks about her long-held fascination with the process of making and how it inspires her books, including her new book about Walter Gropius.
Michael Craig- Martin: the celebrated artist talks about his two new books, his 2014 exhibition at Chatsworth and his digital portrait of Lady Burlington, as she reflects on her experience as a sitter.
Pablo Bronstein: in conversation with Alex Farquharson of Nottingham Contemporary, the artist discusses the influence and impact of the architecture and design of the 17th and 18th centuries on his own work.
Jonathan Yeo: one of the UK’s most highly regarded portrait artists discusses his career to date and the current trajectory of portraiture in conversation with Matthew Parris.
Charles Saumarez Smith: the Chief Executive of the Royal Academy talks about the plans for the new RA building opening in 2018, its impact on the 250-year old institution and on the viewing public.
Will Gompertz: the author and BBC Arts Editor, discusses his new book “Think Like an Artist” and explores the subject of creativity; what unites successful artists and what can their ability to turn fantasy into reality teach us.
Joseph Walsh and Kevin Francis Gray: these two internationally successful artists discuss the artistic process behind their work in conversation with Rachel Campbell-Johnston.

Sunday 20 September
Esther Freud: the novelist discusses her latest book featuring Charles Rennie Mackintosh and explains how her experiences with her father Lucian helped her find the right tone and line.
Jonathan Ruffer: in conversation with Matthew Parris the investment banker tells how and why he bought and restored Auckland Castle along with its twelve Zurbaran paintings, all considered masterpieces.
Grayson Perry: the ceramicist and Turner prize-winner considers art history’s web of connections and influences and what they mean for artists and in particular for Grayson Perry himself.
Christopher Simon Sykes: the writer discusses the latest instalment of his biography of David Hockney, drawing on the primary material he gathered from Hockney and the artist’s close circle of friends to produce his rich, joyful account of Hockney’s life.
Simon Jenkins: the journalist, author and former Chair of the National Trust raises questions about the role of the historic house in the 21st century and how best to balance the interests of the house and the visiting public.
Cate Haste: the biographer and film-maker discusses her book on Craigie Aitchison, examining what informed his visual imagination, distinctive themes and powerfully evocative painting style.
Alison Yarrington: the Professor of Art History at Loughborough University advised on the 2009 project to restore the Chatsworth Sculpture Gallery to its appearance in 1858, the year of the death of its creator the 6th Duke of Devonshire. She discusses the work with Matthew Hirst, Head of Arts and Historic Collections at Chatsworth.
Conrad Shawcross: the sculptor discusses artistic influence, the inspiration behind ‘The Dappled Light of the Sun’, the role his fascination with maths and logic plays in much of his work, and why he thinks it works so well in this rural landscape.

2. Chatsworth House Trust
The Chatsworth House Trust is dedicated to the long-term preservation of Chatsworth House, the art collection, garden, woodlands and park for the long term benefit of the public.  

The charity promotes the study and appreciation of Chatsworth as a place of historic, architectural and artistic interest and of natural beauty, and encourages the use and enjoyment of Chatsworth by visitors for education and recreation.  

Chatsworth is a member of the Treasure Houses of England, 10 of the most magnificent palaces, stately homes and castles in England. 

Chatsworth is only 16 miles from the MI, 10 miles from Chesterfield, and 8 miles north of Matlock, in the heart of Derbyshire’s Peak District National Park and is well served by transport links throughout the UK. 

3. Event Sponsors
Strutt & Parker
Strutt & Parker LLP is one of the largest and most successful independent property partnerships in the UK with a network of offices throughout England and Scotland. Established in 1885, the business provides professional support on all matters relating to land and property - whether offices or farms, country houses or business parks, leisure centres or shooting rights, new home construction or international real estate. With a dedicated, forward-thinking team offering expert knowledge and sound, professional advice, Strutt & Parker LLP can ensure that businesses, farmers, landowners, house-buyers and international investors can make their assets perform to their best ability.

Sarasin & Partners
Sarasin & Partners are a London-based asset management group, managing £14.0 billion* on behalf of their clients – charities, institutions, intermediaries, pension funds and private clients, based both in the UK and around the world. The company is known as a market leader in thematic investment and as a specialist in long-term income and dividend management across multi-asset and equity mandates. They are able to offer our clients both active management and systematic approaches to investment. 
The diverse, experienced investment team stretches from global analysts to economists and risk experts, all sharing knowledge and ideas on a daily basis. This team-based approach, combined with responsible principles, ensures dynamic investments with high conviction at their core.
*as at 31.12.14

Founded as book auctioneer by Samuel Baker in 1744, Sotheby’s remains firmly rooted within a literary tradition. Its very first sale comprised “several hundred scarce and valuable books in all branches of Polite Literature", with the collection selling for a few hundred pounds. Baker could have scarcely imagined that more than 250 years later, in 2010, the same auction house would sell a single book, John James Audubon’s magnificent “Birds of America”, for a world-record price of £7,321,250.

Today, Sotheby’s salerooms in London, New York and Paris continue to offer some of the world’s most historically important publications: from the earliest printed books and the rarest first editions, to literary, historical and musical manuscripts, illustrations and comics.  Among its specialists, Sotheby’s also counts many of the foremost published writers in their chosen field, not least Phillip Hook, who will be speaking as part of Art Out Loud.

For further information or images please contact:
Steve Houghton (
Liz Bee (
Redbrick Communications, 68 St James’s Street, Nottingham, NG1 6FJ

T: 0115 910 1500

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