Chatsworth has invited internationally acclaimed designers Raw Edges and Tom Price to create specially commissioned designs for its 2015 headline exhibition Make Yourself Comfortable at Chatsworth (28 March – 23 October 2015). The creations will sit alongside the private collection of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, as well as an array of contemporary chair designs by leading names including Marc Newson, Amanda Levete, Thomas Heatherwick and Moritz Waldemeyer.
Positioned throughout Chatsworth, Make Yourself Comfortable at Chatsworth is to reveal new insights into the house and its historic collection. The contemporary seats have been selected to reinterpret either the space they are displayed in or an object from the collection. The exhibition is designed to be engaging, offering visitors the opportunity to experience the house and collection in new and surprising ways, to make themselves comfortable at Chatsworth.
The exhibition will showcase the latest seats acquired by the Devonshire family, joined by loans of contemporary seating from designers around the world. Chatsworth has also invited innovative designers Raw Edges and Tom Price to further develop their work with commissions for the Chatsworth House Trust.
A major commission for the exhibition, awarded to Raw Edges, will be situated in the Sculpture Gallery. The gallery was built in the 19th century to house the 6th Duke’s contemporary sculpture collection, including Endymion by Antonio Canova.
When the gallery was first built, the 6th Duke wanted a floor of Swedish porphyry to offset his contemporary sculpture. This had to be abandoned and he injected colour into the space by inserting mosaic panels into the pedestals. Inspired by these, Raw Edges’ Endgrain brings the Sculpture Gallery full circle, providing the backdrop of colour its creator craved two centuries ago.
Endgrain sees the historic space fitted with a grid-like wooden floor with coloured pathways through the gallery. A tree can carry water and minerals throughout its entire body by using its grains. Raw Edges have used this same method to add and transfer pigment along the grain in order to paint a single block of wood from within. Raw Egdes soaked individual pieces of timber in dyes in order to build up a colourful collection that were later glued to one another in vivid patterns. When sculpting these complex patterned blocks into the finish objects, the three-dimensional shape distorts the rectangular graphic patterns in unexpected and curvaceous ways.
From the most densely coloured areas, benches and stools emerge with their legs seemingly growing like tree trunks from a new indoor landscape. The seats are positioned to offer a new perspective on selected sculptures and viewpoints within the gallery.
Raw Edges comments, “As soon as we saw the 19th century Sculpture Gallery we were fascinated by the idea of introducing colour to the space, in order to create a backdrop to its monochrome sculptures and interior. Endgrain is a tactile installation that encourages visitors to engage with the space by following a colourful pathway and invites them to sit and enjoy different views of the sculptures.”
For Counterpart, this special commission by Tom Price for the permanent collection at Chatsworth, two blocks sit together but materially are diametrically apart. The dark block is made from coal, a reference to mineral rights held by the Devonshire family, while the glowing transparent resin block directly references crystals in the mineral collection at Chatsworth, begun by Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire in the 18th Century. Its surface absorbs light in contrast to the opposing transparent synthetic resin block. Set inside are lumps of tar. An exothermic reaction, produced by the resin as it cures, heats the tar, forcing it to expand into whatever limited space it can claim as the resin solidifies. The block is illuminated to show the resulting fractures in the resin.
The two blocks also respond to the staggering array and quality of materials present in both the fabric of the building and its contents. Price was intrigued by the material relationship between the artworks on display and the plinths upon which they sit and wanted to address this hierarchy between art, nature and function.
Price comments: "Throughout the house a fascinating interplay between nature and artifice is evident everywhere from a beautifully veined stone lintel to an intricately carved wooden frame bordering a trompe l'oeils depiction of nature. Each is magnificent in its own right. At times the natural splendor of a marble plinth would completely eclipse the sculpture it was built to support, which made me question the true value of materials in contrast to what is made from them. I wanted to celebrate this blurring of nature, craft and art by combining natural and synthetic materials to create objects that look almost mineral-like, but are in fact entirely fabricated by hand."
Counterpart will be situated in the Chapel.
Make Yourself Comfortable at Chatsworth is curated by Hannah Obee, Exhibitions and Special Projects Curator at Chatsworth. “The new perspectives that Raw Edges and Tom Price have brought to the Devonshire Collection through their commissions will provide different and exciting experiences and new stories to share with our visitors.”
Make Yourself Comfortable at Chatsworth
28 March – 23 October 2015
Chatsworth, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1PP
For press information and images please contact the Chatsworth team at Caro Communications:
- Rachael Jones, Account Executive
- Jessica Knowles, Account Manager
- Jeffrey Cheung, Account Director
T: +44 (0)20 7713 9388
Notes to editors
Participating designers/brands and chairs:
- Amanda Levete – Drift bench
- Assa Ashuach – 501 chairs
- Catherine Aitken – Fade stool
- Christina Liljenberg Halstrøm for Skagerak – Georg bench and stool
- Daniel Schofield – Veil chair
- Deborah Bowness – Souvenir wallpapers (Chatsworth)
- Deger Cengiz – Chaise Lawn
- Freyja Sewell – Hush
- Joseph Walsh – Enignum I and Enignum II chairs
- Jung Myung Taek – Seating for Communicating: Over the Rainbow
- Liliana Ovalle – Fragment of a Staircase
- Maarten Baas – Clay chairs
- Marc Newson – Lockheed Lounge
- Moritz Waldemeyer – By Royal Appointment
- Nest Design – Fin de Voyage, Swansong chairs and The Siren chairs
- ·nobody & co – Bibliochaise and Bibliopouf
- Piet Hein Eek – Kröller Müller chairs
- Psalt Design (Richard Bell and David Powell) – Chatsworth chair
- Raw Edges – Endgrain
- Sebastian Brajkovic - Lathe V
- Shang Xia – Da Tian Di chair
- Sheffield Hallam University MDes students – Victoria dining chair by Robert Hamilton, Cavendish chair by Hayley Lightfoot, Hart chair by George Heath
- Tamasine Osher – Play & Eat saddle seat
- Thomas Heatherwick – Spun chairs
- Thomas Mills for ifsodoso – Long-Form-Library
- Thomas & Vines – Louis clear chairs
- Tokujin Yoshioka – Water Block
- Tom Price – Counterpart
- YOY for Innermost - Canvas sofa and chair
Chatsworth, set in the heart of the Peak District, is home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, and has been passed down through sixteen generations of the Cavendish family. As well as its inspiring architecture, landscape and history, Chatsworth also houses the Devonshire Collection, one of Europe’s most significant art collections. Successive generations of the Devonshire family have commissioned leading artists as well as those less well known since the 17th century up until today. The 12th Duke and Duchess, and their son and daughter-in-law, share their predecessors’ enthusiasm for contemporary art. Fine and decorative art acquired over nearly 500 years, is on view throughout the visitor route as well as displayed and used in their private apartments. Family portraits by Lucian Freud and Sir Joshua Reynolds share rooms with works by Sir Anthony Caro, Ai Weiwei and Michael Craig-Martin. Outdoor sculpture by Allen Jones, Barry Flanagan and Richard Long join 18th-century marbles in the garden; Umbrella 2 and High Heel, also by Michael Craig-Martin, are the latest, permanent additions to the garden. Inside the house, the most significant art installation at Chatsworth since the creation of the Sculpture Gallery in 1832, opened to visitors in spring 2014. Jacob van der Beugel represents the Devonshire family’s DNA in ceramic panels on the walls of the North Sketch Gallery, in an unusual and creative take on the traditional portrait. These contemporary commissions embody Chatsworth: personal, forward-looking and enthusiastically shared with visitors.
The Chatsworth House Trust is an independent charity (no 511149) set up by the 11th Duke of Devonshire in 1981, to ensure the long-term survival 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.
About Raw Edges
Raw-Edges is a design studio based in London established by Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay.
Both artists/designers were born in Tel Aviv, attended Bezalel Art and Design Academy in Jerusalem and completed their MA at the Royal College of Art. They have won many awards such as The British Council Talented Award, iF Gold Award, Dutch Design Award, Elle Decoration International Design Award for best furniture of 2008/09, and Designer of the Future from Design Miami/ Basel and Wallpaper* Design Award, both in 2009.
Clients include Cappellini, Established & Sons, Moroso, Kvadrat and Stella McCartney. Their work has been exhibited internationally and forms part of MOMA’s permanent collection in New York. In 2014 Raw-Edges participated in London Design Festival’s landmark project ‘A Place Called Home’ in Trafalgar Square.
About Tom Price
Since graduating from London’s Royal College of Art, Price has established an international career as an artist and designer with works in major collections and museums worldwide. He has also completed several large-scale sculptural commissions for public and private spaces.
Trained in sculpture and design, Price explores the untapped potential of familiar materials, encouraging them to behave in unfamiliar ways. This often requires developing machinery and tools that are capable of subverting conventional industrial manufacturing techniques. Chance is an essential element in this creative process, and one that Price relies on to transcend the limits of imagination.