Chatsworth Arts Festival presents Jarvis Cocker in a weekend of creative arts … and gorgeous gardens
Jarvis Cocker, Mark Wallinger, Tom Dixon, Rachel Feinstein, John Currin, Sara Flynn, Josie Rourke, James Graham, Adam Nicolson and many many more. Calling all art and culture lovers (that’s all of us, surely?), there is a simply wonderful treat coming up when Chatsworth Arts Festival returns for its fifth foray with a fabulous weekend of music, design, painting, sculpture, ceramics, dance, illustration and animation, film, theatre and photography, gardens and writing. And talks. Phew.
Running from Friday September 20 to Sunday September 22, the festival opens with a DJ set and talk in the garden from Block 9, designers of “temporary alternative realities”. Not sure what that means but their collaborations have included Banksy, Gorillaz and Dua Lipa, and their performance at Glastonbury drew 50,000 festival-goers to “the best area of the best festival in the world” (BBC).
Headline acts (see full list below) for this year’s Chatsworth Arts Festival include Jarvis Cocker, celebrity gardener Sarah Raven, plus Chi-chi Nwanoku, founder and artistic director of Chineke!, the first professional and junior BME orchestras in Europe. There’s Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger; Michael Landy, best known for performance piece installation Break Down, in which he destroyed all his possessions; painter and writer Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, known for her portraits of fictitious subjects painted in muted colours; Rachel Feinstein, the US artist who created life-size ceramic sculpture Britannia for Chatsworth’s garden; Ben Long, the artist and creator of Dog Scaffolding Sculpture, currently displayed on the South Lawn at Chatsworth; painter Antony Micallef; and John Currin, the American painter described by the New York Times as “arguably the most provocative and successful painter of his generation.”
Here’s a run-down of the categories and artists (PS, immensely grateful to the Chatsworth team for the detail in this):
Musician, artist and broadcaster Jarvis Cocker, discusses his upcoming book This Book is a Song, a reflective medley of biographical details, essays, illustrations and photographs as he continues to explore creativity. Jarvis, famed as frontman of Pulp, continues to create and perform with new band Jarv Is. Their single is only available to buy at live shows, because “life is primarily a live experience” … naturally. Jarvis closes the festival with a DJ set, playing some of his favourite records on the South Lawn.
Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, Artistic & Executive Director of Chineke! talks about her passionate belief that orchestras need to do more to break down barriers for people from diverse backgrounds. She a double bass player, a professor and a fellow at the Royal Academy of Music, and the founder and artistic director of the Chineke! Orchestra, the first professional and junior orchestras in Europe comprised mostly of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) musicians. Chineke! Ensemble will perform short pop-ups during the day and a full concert in the evening in the Theatre.
Pop duo NIMMO, who walked out of a record deal with Sony in 2015 just after graduating, then independently released their 2019 debut album POWER, critically acclaimed for its “raw-edged soul nestling up alongside crisp and skittering garage-style beats” (NME). They were the first artists chosen by clothing brand VANS to curate a show at House of Vans in London (2018), this year Vogue named them one of pop’s most influential new artists.
World-renowned, self-taught British designer Tom Dixon OBE explores the role of the lesser-used senses in the design process – the smell and taste of a place, the textures and tone of a space, the sound of an interior, the weight of an object. His works are included in permanent collections at the world’s most prestigious museums, including the V&A and MoMA.
Mary-Ann Dunkley, Design Director at Liberty Fabrics, shares her creative journey from textile student in Nottingham, through 17 years at British fashion company Paul Smith, to her current role at Liberty Fabrics where she draws inspiration from 45,000 original designs in the Liberty archive, dating back to the 17th century.
Margo Selby is an internationally renowned woven textile designer. Her design philosophy is focused on pushing the boundaries of weaving to create contemporary stylish fabrics which unite a modernist aesthetic with traditional weaving techniques. Margo will discuss her career in woven textiles and will lead a workshop where you will create abstract textile colour as you explore stripe, colour, palette and proportion.
PAINTING, SCULPTURE AND CERAMICS:
Described by the New York Times as “arguably the most provocative and successful painter of his generation,” John Currin is an American painter best known for satirical figurative paintings which deal with sexual and social themes. Currin often distorts or exaggerates the erotic forms of the female body as he draws on sources as diverse as the Renaissance, popular culture magazines, and contemporary fashion models.
Award-winning ceramicist Sara Flynn will discuss her influences, process and the importance of learning from your mistakes. Flynn uses her ‘life-long love affair’ with porcelain and clay to mould her widely-exhibited, semi-biomorphic forms. In 2019 she won a Golden Fleece Award and in 2017 was a finalist in the prestigious Loewe Craft Prize. Her work is held in major collections including at Chatsworth, the V&A, Gardiner Museum (Toronto) and the National Museum of Ireland.
Taking his recent 60th birthday as an opportunity to reflect upon his career, and his connection with Chatsworth, contemporary artist Mark Wallinger is joined by Beth Bate, Director of Dundee Contemporary Arts, a good friend who has worked with him on a number of commissions and projects. Mark represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 2001 and was twice nominated for the Turner Prize, which he won in 2007. His sculpture Ecce Homo was the first work to occupy the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square; his work Labyrinth is a major and permanent commission for Art on the Underground; The World Turned Upside Down, installed outside LSE, is his latest public artwork. His creativity encompasses painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, film and performance.
In conversation with Skinder Hundal MBE, painter Antony Micallef reflects on his journey from modest beginnings, working in his parents’ garden shed, to now as he now exhibits all over the world and is recognised as one of the finest painters in contemporary art, with work displayed at the National Portrait Gallery, Royal Academy, Tate Britain and the ICA London. Skinder Hundal has been CEO of New Art Exchange (NAE) in Nottingham since September 2008, positioning NAE as a key contemporary art venue in the UK.
In conversation: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and Dr Zoe Whitley. Lynette is a British painter and writer, best known for her portraits of fictitious subjects painted in muted colours. Literature and language play a significant role in inspiring her “arresting, enigmatic portraits”. In 2018 she was awarded the Carnegie Prize (Carnegie International) and in 2013 she was short-listed for the Turner Prize. Dr Zoe Whitley is Senior Curator at the Hayward Gallery in London, prior to which she was Curator, International Art at Tate Modern. Exhibitions to her credit include curating the 2019 British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale and co-curating the acclaimed Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power. Zoe was named one of Apollo Magazine’s 40 Under 40 Thinkers in Europe.
US artist Rachel Feinstein will delve into the experience of being an artist in residence at Chatsworth, in partnership with Gucci, and the fascinating process of making her life-size ceramic sculpture Britannia, depicting the Roman personification of the British Isles. She will share stories from the studio and the Chatsworth Garden that inspired her latest work, which can be seen in the Grotto.
Ben Long, the artist and creator of Dog Scaffolding Sculpture, currently displayed on the South Lawn, and Dr Alex Hodby, the curator of exhibitions and engagement at Chatsworth, discuss the literal and figurative ‘spanner’ – the way in which Ben uses an assortment of materials and objects, such as scaffolding equipment, haulage trucks, and advertising billboards, to create unexpected artworks.
Holly Blakey will discuss her journey from ballet lessons as a child in Yorkshire to her ground-breaking choreography with some of the UK’s brightest dancers and how dance makes you “entirely present”. She will share stories of her work with pop stars and musicians that straddles the border between high art and pop culture. She will dive deep into the hyper-sexualised language of the music video during Some Greater Class, a live dance performance exploring connectivity, class and gender.
Choreographer Becky Namgauds Rodadoras performance considers ideas of femicide, women left and lost in rivers and wastelands, through contemporary dance and Capoeira (Afro-Brazilian martial art).
ILLUSTRATION AND ANIMATION:
In conversation with Chatsworth Arts Festival director Beki Bateson, artist Hattie Stewart will be discussing her drawings, recognisable for their precise, cartoonish and psychedelic forms. A self-professed ‘professional doodler’, Hattie is best known for ‘doodle-bombing’ – her remastering of influential magazines from Vogue to Playboy and her work with designers such as House of Holland, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Adidas.
Four-time Academy Award-winning animation studio and creators of Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, Creature Comforts, Chicken Run and Morph, Aardman Animations are giving you the chance to learn how to make your very own Gromit character at these fun, hands-on clay modelling workshops lead by one of their expert model makers.
Michael Landy will discuss the central role of drawing in his practice. Perhaps best known for his large-scale installations such as Break Down (2001), which saw him destroy all his worldly possessions over a two-week period, Landy is also an accomplished draughtsman, working in exceptional detail and often in large series.
FILM THEATRE AND PHOTOGRAPHY:
Long-term collaborators Josie Rourke, award-winning film and theatre director, and James Graham, award-winning playwright and screenwriter, have worked together for a decade in theatre. They discuss their plays, burgeoning screen careers and the responsibility of telling stories. Josie Rourke has been Artistic Director of The Donmar Warehouse and The Bush Theatre, and she was the first female director to run a major London theatre. She won an Olivier award for her revival of the musical City of Angels. Her debut film, Mary Queen of Scots was nominated for two Academy Awards. James Graham is a playwright and screenwriter whose recent work includes the Channel4 drama Brexit: The Uncivil War with Benedict Cumberbatch, and the play Ink which received a Tony nomination for Best Play on Broadway earlier this year. Other plays include Privacy created with Josie Rourke, and The Vote, also created with Rourke and broadcast live on television on election night, 2015.
Robert McNab and Lord Burlington discuss the work of photographer Jorge Lewinski. For over 30 years, Jorge Lewinski created an unequalled record of artists at work through his portraits of the leading painters and sculptors active in Britain in the second half of the twentieth century. His collection of photographs is unequalled in its range and quality and there are more than 100 of his portraits held at Chatsworth including those of Francis Bacon, Peter Blake, Elisabeth Frink, Frank Auerbach, Anthony Caro, Gilbert and George, Anthony Gormley and LS Lowry.
Sarah Raven will delve into her years of experience in teaching gardening, flower arranging and cookery at her farm in East Sussex. Her talk is all about how to prepare, plant, maintain and harvest buckets of flowers from your garden, including her best sowing and growing techniques. A woman of many talents, Sarah Raven was a doctor at the Royal Sussex County Hospital and is now a broadcaster, teacher and writer.
Explore the Cutting Garden on a tour with Chatsworth gardener and floral expert Becky Crowley. She will lead you through her favourite flowers and let you peek into the development of the garden. Passionate and knowledgeable, Becky’s work has gained her an international following on Instagram and appeared on BBC1’s Gardener’s World.
In his new book The Making of Poetry, Adam Nicolson tells the story of the year that Coleridge, Wordsworth, his sister Dorothy and an ever-shifting cast of friends, dependants and acolytes spent together in the Quantock Hills in Somerset during the 1790s. To research the book Adam spent a year living in the Quantocks and was accompanied, for much of the time, by the artist Tom Hammick. Together, Adam and Tom discuss the nature and foundations of the Romantic revolution. Renowned author Adam Nicolson’s works include The Mighty Dead, When God Spoke English, Sea Room and Sissinghurst and he is the winner of the Wainwright, Ondaatje, William Heinemann and Somerset Maugham prizes. Painter and printmaker Tom Hammick is a winner of the V&A Prize and has work in collections including the British Museum, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, and The Library of Congress, Washington DC.
With the festival taking place at locations across the house and garden, this year’s visitors will also be able to enjoy the remodelling of the five-acre Rockery, the first part of the largest transformation of Chatsworth’s world-famous 105-acre garden for 200 years. The garden project follows the completion in 2018 of the 10-year restoration of the house and its interiors.
* For timings and more info, visit www.chatsworth.org