Contemporary Ceramics at Chatsworth

The Dukes of Devonshire have long been collectors of ceramics and pottery. The current Duke has continued the tradition. and  there are a number of ceramic works on display in the public areas of Chatsworth.

Edmund du Waal’s A Sounding Linem a work comprising 52 porcelain vessels in 5 celadon glazes and 14 thrown porcelain vessels in 5 white glazes is installed in the fireplaces and high corbels of the Chapel Corridor.


At first glance, especially when viewed during the Luminaire event, they all appeared the same off-white colour. But closer inspection during the daytime revealed subtle variations in shade. Like much of his work the pots have a Japanese, Zen-like quality.

These two abstract forms were also displayed in the Chapel corridor. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the artist.


This large scale pot located on the landing at the topof the flight of stairs from the Painted Hall is Chinese Ladders by Felicity Aylieff . The form and design of the pot is inspired by the structure of bamboo scaffolding used by builders in China.


In the State rooms, and elsewhere in the house, were a number of installations by the Australian artist, Pippin Drysdale. With interesting surface textures and vibrant colours her works are inspired by the landscapes of her native country.




This stunning installation is fixed to the walls of the North Sketch gallery.


Created by the artist Jacob van der Beugel, the work represents the DNA profiles of the the Duke and some members of his family. The Chatsworth website tells us that the:

Raised ceramic blocks represent the DNA strand of ‘Everyman’ in the central portrait, which is flanked by the personal DNA profiles of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, their son Lord Burlington and his wife, Lady Burlington.

DNA samples were taken from members of the Devonshire family and the results were translated onto ceramic panels, while aspects of each individual’s personality are captured on glazed pieces in their DNA sequence


This is how it looked during the Luminaire event, lit up with candles.


There are 659 warm, ochre coloured panels making up a large work, approximately 20m long x3m wide x4m high all along one of the walls of the long  narrow room.  The other wall is covered with mirrors which reflect the panels.


Overall a stunning contemporary work of art.