Dezeen Magazine

Raw Edges to fill stately home gallery with colourful wood patterns

News: London studio Raw Edges will install a new floor and seating using a grid of dyed timber inside the sculpture gallery at Chatsworth House in England's Peak District.

Raw Edges' colourful Endgrain installation will form part of the Make Yourself Comfortable exhibition, taking place at the Derbyshire estate of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire – part of which is open to the public.

Endgrain builds on the studio's collection of furniture patterned with dye-soaked sections of timber to create colourful three-dimensional patterns.

Raw Edges Make Yourself Comfortable installation at Chatsworth House

"Endgrain is a tactile installation that encourages visitors to engage with the space by following a colourful pathway and invites them to sit and enjoy different views of the sculptures," said Raw Edges.

The grain of the wood is used to transfer the dye right the way through the timber sections. Each piece is soaked in the pigment individually and then glued together to create the effect.

This technique will be best demonstrated in the curved shapes of the benches and stools, which will emerge from the densely coloured areas of flooring to reveal angled slices through the rectangular dyed elements.

Raw Edges Make Yourself Comfortable installation at Chatsworth House

The installation will occupy a gallery built in the 19th century to house the 6th Duke's contemporary sculpture collection at Chatsworth, which is one of the UK's best-known stately homes and has stood on the site in some form since the 11th century.

"When the gallery was first built, the 6th Duke wanted a floor of Swedish porphyry to offset his contemporary sculpture," said a statement from Chatsworth. "This had to be abandoned and he injected colour into the space by inserting mosaic panels into the pedestals."

These panels provided the impetus for Raw Edges to bring even more colour into the gallery using their wooden mosaic patterns.

"As soon as we saw the 19th-century Sculpture Gallery we were fascinated by the idea of introducing colour to the space, in order to create a backdrop to its monochrome sculptures and interior," said the studio.

Raw Edges Make Yourself Comfortable installation at Chatsworth House

An artwork called Counterpart by designer and sculptor Tom Price has also been specially commissioned for the exhibition. It consists of two cuboid blocks in contrasting materials that will sit together in the estate's chapel.

The first block is made of coal – a reference to the Devonshire's mineral rights – while the second is formed from transparent resin, alluding to the family collection of jewels.

The black block is designed to absorb light, while the see-through piece will be illuminated to highlight lumps of tar set inside.

Raw Edges Make Yourself Comfortable installation at Chatsworth House
Counterpart by Tom Price

"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'oeil depiction of nature," said Price.

"I wanted to celebrate this blurring of nature, craft and art by combining natural and synthetic materials to create objects that look almost mineral-like, but are in fact entirely fabricated by hand," he added.

Along with these two new commissions, a series of contemporary chairs by designers including Marc Newson, Amanda Levete, Thomas Heatherwick and Moritz Waldemeyer will be exhibited around the 17th-century house.

The chairs – some of which have been acquired by the Devonshire family – were selected to "reinterpret either the space they are displayed in or an object from the collection".

Make Yourself Comfortable opens on 28 March and will run until 23 October.