This year’s Beyond Limits sculpture exhibition opened on Friday September 16th, in the gardens of Chatsworth House. There are 26 works on display, including pieces by Damien Hirst, Rene Magritte, Lynn Chadwick and Marc Quinn, and the exhibition runs until October 30th 2011.
Please click on each photo to enlarge it.
23. Damien Hirst – Myth
The spot at the far end of the Canal pond is always reserved for something special. In previous years, we’ve had Marc Quinn’s statue of Kate Moss and a smaller version of Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North – and this year, Damien Hirst’s two painted bronze horses, Myth and Legend, looked spectacular in the afternoon sunlight. You’ll see Legend further down in this post.
1. Takashi Murakami – Flower Matango
We first came across Takashi Murakami’s paintings on a trip to Boston in 2001. Since then, his designs have been used to adorn Louis Vuitton’s luxury luggage range – but this typically cheerful, cartoon-like sculpture also dates from ten years ago. The first three sculptures on the trail were photographed during a heavy rain shower, which had the effect of dampening some of the cheerfulness of this work, casting it in a somewhat forlorn light, like an out-of-season attraction at a deserted seaside resort.
2. Charles Hadcock – Torsion II
The spot nearest the Chatsworth House gift shop is usually given over to more geometrical pieces, such as this one. I wish we’d had more time to look at it, but the rain was pelting down and so we moved quickly on.
3. Lynn Chadwick – Two Watchers V
This is the first of three works by Lynn Chadwick in this year’s collection. It rather looked as if the couple were being buffeted by the rain, sheltering under billowing plastic macs.
4. Ju Ming – Taichi Arch
Ju Ming is another regular exhibitor at Beyond Limits, and this is the first of two works. The other is at Number 17 below.
5. Rene Magritte – Les Menottes de Cuivre
This is the French surrealist’s take on the Venus de Milo, painted in somewhat gaudy – or even tawdry? – colours. Nevertheless, it sat well in the rose garden area.
7. William Turnbull – Large Blade Venus
This work was placed in the cottage garden. To its left, and a little further uphill, there was a beautiful and vibrantly coloured wild flower meadow – the first time we had seen such an area at Chatsworth – so we’ve added a shot of it, just below.
6. Lynn Chadwick – Sitting Couple
This looked very similar to one of Chadwick’s other sitting couples, which was displayed by the Ring pond in a previous year.
8. Eric Goulder – Sentire
Sentire is the Italian word for “feel”: a fitting description for this lovely work, which is appropriately displayed in the Sensory garden.
9. Yayoi Kusama – Flowers That Bloom Tomorrow
Situated at the foot of the Cascade, where crowds were gathering to watch the water being switched back on, this is another colourful, cartoon-like creation, which reminded us of Takashi Murakami’s work.
11. Zadok Ben-David – Simple Lines
Zadok Ben-David is another Beyond Limits regular, who specialises in two-dimensional latticed renditions of natural forms. This also looked terrific when viewed from the summit of the rockery.
10. Nadim Karam – Miu
Is “Miu” a reference to the noise that a cat makes? This piece had a clear, reflective surface, which looked great in the sunshine.
13. Ji Yong-Ho – Lion 2
One of the most popular works in the exhibition, this lion was constructed from bronze and adorned with shredded car tyres. It reminded us of Japanese fantasy animations, and it looked startlingly alive.
12. David Breuer-Weil – Visitor 2
Placed next to the Ring Pond, this looked as if a giant had been buried head first in the ground, with only his huge feet left visible.
14. Jaume Plensa – Chloe’s World
This enigmatic sculpture could only be viewed from a considerable distance, which added to its mystery. It almost looked like a stretched and distorted video still.
15. Richard Hudson – Frog With Fly
This metallic piece had great sight lines, from all around the Strid pond. Presumably the frog’s extended tongue has been caught in the act of grabbing the hapless fly? This was another piece whose reflective surface added another dimension to its appeal.
16. Pep Sirvent – Riu
Of all the works we saw, this was the piece which we most wanted to own. (The sculptures can all be bought from Sotheby’s, although it’s doubtful whether many of today’s visitors could have afforded them.) It’s a deceptively simple arrangement of granite, copper and stainless steel, which grows more fascinating as you walk around it, closely observing the changing dimensions and the way that the light affects the three different materials.
17. Ju Ming – Taichi Single Figure
This felt like a much stronger work than Ju Ming’s other sculpture (Number 4 above), which was boosted by the great location. It blended wonderfully well with the surrounding rocks and autumnal colours. Returning to the rockery afterwards, it almost felt as if all of the larger rocks could have been Ju Ming sculptures in their own right.
18. Barry Flanagan – Large Left-Handed Drummer
Barry Flanagan’s giant, fantastical hares are great favourites of the Duke and Duchess, and his work also features in their permanent collection. That said, we’re not great fans, and this was our least favourite piece.
19. Pablo Reinoso – Talking Bench
This “talking” bench would be another great piece to own, if only because it begged to be sat upon! It was fun to trace the extravagantly swooping lines of metal, which swirled from the giant loops at either end and connected directly to the three slats of the bench itself.
20. Lynn Chadwick – Walking Woman
This third and final Chadwick figure was perched above the Canal pond. Perhaps this woman was hurrying away from the House, with her skirts billowing behind her…
21. Jedd Novatt – Chaos Madrid
A typical Jedd Novatt construction – he has also been at Beyond Limits several times before – which was tucked away in a tree-lined enclosure on the North side of the Canal pond.
24. Damien Hirst – Legend
A lengthy discussion was taking place next to us, between a family group who were arguing about the significance of the names of Hirst’s two horses. “Legend” is the winged horse, which is most probably a reference to the classical legend of Pegasus – whereas “Myth” is the unicorn, whose existence was believed by many to be true, even as late as the 19th Century. The application of paint on the bronze was so smooth, that the white halves of each creature looked like marble.
22. Nadim Karam – Desert Sand
Nadim Karam was also responsible for the reflective cat at Number 10 above. Is this creature a myth, a legend, or just a figment of the sculptor’s imagination?
25. Marc Quinn – Burning Desire
A white version of this sculpture was exhibited in a previous Beyond Limits. We were quietly outraged by the group of visitors who were photographing themselves perched in the middle of it, in flagrant disregard of the “do not touch/do not climb” notices… but we decided not to shame them with a photograph of our own…
26. Manolo Valdes – Nike
This piece faced the Hirst horses at the other end of the Canal pond, with the central head faced towards the House itself (still under wraps at this end, while refurbishment work takes place on the exterior). It was difficult to appreciate it fully, as there was only a very limited viewing area in front of it, and the clouds were getting darker.
So, which of these sculptures is your favourite?