For Counterpart, this special commission for the permanent collection at Chatsworth, two blocks sit together but materially are diametrically apart. The dark block is made from coal, a reference to mineral rights held by the Devonshire family, while the glowing transparent resin block directly references crystals in the mineral collection at Chatsworth, begun by Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire in the 18th Century.
The two blocks also relate to the material relationship between the artworks on display throughout the house and the plinths upon which they sit, challenging the perceived hierarchy between art, nature and function.
Throughout the house a fascinating interplay between nature and artifice is evident everywhere from a beautifully veined stone lintel to an intricately carved wooden frame bordering a trompe l'oeils depiction of nature. Each is magnificent in its own right. At times the natural splendour of a marble plinth will completely eclipse the sculpture it was built to support, bringing into question the true value of materials compared to what is made from them. Counterpart celebrates this blurring of nature, craft and art through the mix of natural and synthetic materials, and production process that are as much laboriously hand crafted as they are influenced by chance.
Coal; resin; tar; steel; wood; jesmonite; acrylic
H: 450 mm - W: 350 mm - L: 2200 mm
Photography Courtesy of Chatsworth House Trust/ text courtesy Tom Price
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