My new exhibition, MODERN MAKERS opened on the 18th September at Chatsworth. Curated by the lovely Sarah Griffin, this is a chance to see ‘CHROMATOGENOUS’ (meaning ‘to generate colour’) an installation of nine 250 x 70cm panels inspired directly by Chatsworth House and presented by the auction house Sotheby’s. A mile stone for me… the largest installation I think I’ve ever done. Very difficult to photograph to convey the true scale of the piece. More of an experience, something you move through, than a traditional installation that you view. Each panel embodies a certain colour that I found in the house itself and is a deep exploration of what I call Chromatic Minimalism. Below is my short essay about the installation. A catalogue is available from Sotheby’s and I do recommend a visit to this spectacular place.
“Chatsworth generates colour. Walking through the rooms is a chromatic experience and there are certain colours in particular that occur throughout the house. A Verdigris green, rarely seen in contemporary interiors, emanates from eastern hand painted wallpaper; soft and electric simultaneously. The deep black Indigo produced from a Mortlake weavers dye bath holds its place on a tapestry, unlike its original companions now faded bar one. Hidden deep in the textile archive passementerie of surprising vibrancy, collected over the years sits carefully wrapped in layers of tissue paper. A mustard yellow, Ochreous in its intensity glows in the darkened room. A restored carpet in the library reveals an electric Ultramarine of Yves Klein saturation: a vortex of colours colliding before an inky backdrop. Intricate painted ceilings throughout the house reveal Aquamarine skies of the palest hue. In a burst of heat, a Chinese silk of Vermillion spills out from its storage constraints desperate for breath. The state bed is bedecked with an almost fluorescent Coralline, described by some as red rose and gold the damask blends and merges these colours into one. An Umber weft, verging on burnt orange, gleams across the pale warp threads outlining the figures almost cartoon-like. Glossy Citrine shimmers as the light falls diagonally across the wool pile surface its contrast with the dark walled room is stark when compared to the lustrous floor.
The strength of colour here is phenomenal; timeless and daring. This series of hand dyed and woven artworks by Ptolemy Mann made specifically for the New Gallery will celebrate and regenerate this palette. Distilling a cacophony of hidden and unhidden colour, seen throughout the house, into an elegant series of large architectural artworks, this is an installation intended to evoke the sensations of a complex and historically rich textile landscape.”