‘Queen of the Curve’ in the spotlight

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The late visionary, Iraqi-born British architect Zaha Hadid is celebrated at this year’s Beyond Limits monumental contemporary sculpture exhibition at Chatsworth with the installation of Lilas, her sculpturally striking pavilion with its white, calligraphic arcs rising to 5.5 metres.

Taking inspiration from natural forms such as flower petals and leaves, Lilas has been positioned at one end of the South Lawn with the house as the backdrop. Dubbed ‘Queen of the Curve’, Hadid (1950-2016) originally designed Lilas (pictured) as a temporary commission for the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens.

As the most architecturally ambitious installation to be presented at Chatsworth to date, Lilas fully reflects the creative spirit that made Hadid the first woman to win the RIBA gold medal in her own right as she transformed the landscape of modern architecture with her highly expressive sweeping forms.

More than 19 monumental sculptures from several of the world’s leading artists have been curated for Beyond Limits. Carefully positioned around Chatsworth’s renowned 105-acre garden, created by Joseph Paxton and Capability Brown, the sculptures take full advantage of the views found in this beautiful landscape.

Other highlights include Habitación Vegetal XV by Cristina Iglesias, one of Spain’s most important pioneers of contemporary art. Made of stainless steel, Habitación reflects and distorts its immediate surroundings in the rolling Derbyshire countryside, forcing the viewer to play an active part in the artist’s fictional world.

‘Professional daydreamer’ Bruce Munro conceived his work specifically for the renowned Canal Pond at Chatsworth. Time and Again is an array of 108 giant, stainless steel waterlilies, which appear to float across the water’s surface and were inspired by Chatsworth’s success in growing some of the earliest Victorian waterlilies after seeds were first brought to England from British Guiana in 1837.

Elsewhere in the garden, the seated female nude of Aristide Maillol’s La Montagne, 1er etat, is one his most celebrated works; Ju Ming’s Taichi Arch reflects the artist’s interest in the ancient Chinese practice of Tai Chi, which he took up to develop his physical and mental discipline; Joana Vasconcelos Fruitcake is a brightly coloured and monumental cupcake from her ‘Treats’ series exploring consumerist culture.

Other artists exhibiting at Beyond Limits include the Brits, Lynn Chadwick, Yorkshire’s Richard Hudson and Derby-born Charles Hadcock as well as international artists including Erwin Wurm, Jedd Novatt and Wendell Castle.

Over the past 15 years the Chatsworth House Trust and the Devonshire family have continued to purchase and commission contemporary sculpture for public display. Works by Michael Craig Martin, Dame Elisabeth Frink, Angela Conner, Barry Flanagan, David Nash, Laura Ellen Bacon, Gary Breeze and Allen Jones can be found throughout the garden and park.

Curated by Sotheby’s, the sculptures in Beyond Limits will be on display from 11am-5.30pm every day and the exhibition is included with admission to the garden.

Art lovers can immerse themselves further by attending The Chatsworth Festival - Art Out Loud (Art Out Loud). Running from 23-25 September this festival of talks by artists, curators and writers takes place in the house and garden with visitors also able to view works in the Beyond Limits exhibition.

Inspired by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire’s passion for art the festival has a line-up of over 20 speakers including ceramicist and author, Edmund de Waal; Julia Peyton-Jones (Serpentine Galleries); Maria Balshaw (Whitworth Gallery); Peter Frankopan (author); garden designer, Dan Pearson and the Duke of Devonshire.

See www.chatsworth.org for more.