CHATSWORTH – At Chatsworth in Derbyshire just a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to go and see Beyond Limits, a sculpture show organized by Sotheby’s and focused on Modern and contemporary work.
DESIGNER NICOLE FARHI.
The rain and the cold could not dampen my spirits on what would become a special day. Chatsworth itself is stunning, and the grounds are a perfect setting for this impressive selection of art. Under a heavy downpour, I was lent a warm coat, an umbrella and some wellies, and I started my walk along a broad tree-lined avenue. On my left, through the shimmering and green foliage, I was intrigued when spotting a multitude of colours.
I approached and was rather stunned to discover what looks like a temple, but a temple that could be a giant construction made by children. It looks playful with its walls covered with innocent squiggles. Four slightly distorted decorated columns define the limits of the space, and through three painted arches, you can imagine children stepping happily on the painted stones to reach the circular opening.
SANDY BROWN’S TEMPLE AT CHATSWORTH.
Before entering, I walked round what I now regarded as an ever more delightful creation – Sandy Brown's perfect “folly.” Hundreds of hand-painted ceramic tiles make up Sandy Brown's Temple. Some are square, others rectangular or horseshoe-shaped. All are decorated with unique brush strokes, some bold, some water-like. It brings to mind a Russian church or Indian temple; even a Turkish mosque with its finial at the top of the roof and curved roundels.
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE EXTERERIOR OF SANDY BROWN’S TEMPLE AT CHATSWORTH.
The size and shape of the construction, the exuberant paintings, the choice of material, everything suggests a quite different purpose from religion. There is nothing formal in the execution of the paintings on the tiles outside. As I sat quietly on one of the two painted oblong sculpted stools inside, a soft light filtering through the beautiful glass windows by Simon Moore, I realised that there is not one splash or brushstroke inside that is the same as those outside. Each is unique. The only common denominator is the continuing sense of subtly different rhythmic shape that takes you deep into yourself.
Sandy’s visionary art structure has elevated her striking and unusual “folly” into a place of meditation, where one feels open and alive to the world at large, but where you may also find peace within. – In collaboration with Joanna Bird.