Chesterfield News

New Burning Man Sculptures at Chatsworth ahead of October Burn Event

More than 500 schoolchildren have worked alongside the artists at Radical Horizons: The Art of Burning Man at Chatsworth to create and build three huge new interactive sculptures as part of the UK exhibition.

These latest additions to Radical Horizons make a total of twelve works spread across a site more than a mile long and half a mile wide and set in 1000 acres of free-to-access parkland surrounding the house at the Derbyshire estate.

Radical Horizons: The Art of Burning Man runs until 1 October when it will close with the ceremonial burning of the new sculpture Relevé to symbolise the ‘letting go’ of the exhibition. The ceremony follows tradition set by the global Burning Man event in Nevada.

A nine-metre high structure built primarily in wood by the artist Rebekah Waites with hundreds of children from local schools, Relevé was inspired by Derbyshire folklore that says a bronze age stone circle near Chatsworth was formed from the remains of nine ladies turned into stone for dancing on the Sabbath.

Relevé not only pays homage to the nine ladies, but also celebrates the rebellious spirit of dance, music and art. By challenging the folklore behind this archaeological site, Relevé attempts to rewrite the story and release the women from their eternal stillness. Nine twisted structures made of wood and intricately decorated with a rope and string laced facade, dance around one another.

Relevé – Photo taken by Chatsworth House Trust

Over the past few months, schoolchildren and young people from Derbyshire and Sheffield have collected materials and helped build the three new sculptures, mirroring the process in Nevada that sees teams of volunteers gathering in the desert to create new artworks. Burning Man is an arts and cultural event that usually takes place annually in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, USA.

Alongside Relevé, schoolchildren have worked on-site at Chatsworth with US artists, Shrine, Dana Albany, Heather Henderson, Flash Hopkins, and Kathy Richardson to create and build Coralee and Elysian Towers.

Relevé by Rebekah Waites with Watercliffe Community Primary, Sheffield, 240 children; St Anne’s Primary, Baslow, 17; Stanton in Peak Primary, 42; Rowsley Primary, 29: Relevé was inspired by the Nine Ladies Stone Circle, a Bronze Age archaeological site at Stanton Moore near Chatsworth and this sculpture will burn at the end of the exhibition as a celebratory finale.

Coralee by Dana Albany, Heather Henderson, Flash Hopkins, Kathy Richardson with Spire Junior School (Chesterfield): The sculpture takes the form of a mermaid – inspired by the folklore of the Mermaid’s Pool, situated just below Kinder Scout in the Dark Peak – and has been built of everyday metal and glass donated by Chatsworth, its staff and the local community. Look closely to spot spoons, bolts, keys, chandeliers and bicycle chains.

Coralee – Image taken by Chatsworth House Trust; Image Top Right, Duke Of Devonshire with The Flybary by Christina Sporrong – Image taken by Chatsworth House Trust

Elysian Towers by Shrine (also known as Brent Allen Spears) with Derbyshire Virtual School: Shrine has worked with young adults from Derbyshire Virtual School to create Elysian Towers. The artwork is made from ‘rubbish’ and found objects sourced locally by the participants themselves, using recycled glass donated by Ardagh Glass and plastic bottles stacked into towers, celebrating the joy of the unknown and making a monument dedicated to making the not-precious precious.

Elysian Towers by Shrine – Image by Chatsworth House Trust

These new participatory builds between the artists and local children and young people were organised by Chatsworth’s in-house Learning and Engagement team. Focusing on curriculum linked, hands-on, arts engagement sessions its work is designed to enhance visual literacy and develop technical and creative skills, while outdoor learning sessions include multisensory activities to help develop environmental understanding.

Kerry Fernandez, Arts and Engagement Manager: “This has been a wonderful experience for many children and young people who had never visited Chatsworth before. They have been given a rare opportunity to engage with contemporary art and artists, while learning new skills and techniques. We hope it will draw them into a lifelong engagement with the arts which can open their eyes to seeing things in new ways.”

Chatsworth supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.


Josh Marsh

Destination Chesterfield Coordinator (Investment and Marketing)

Email Josh

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