Shakti Exhibition at Kedleston Hall Derbyshire

Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire is the seat of the Curzon family, who have owned the estate since at least 1297. George Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston became the Viceroy of India in 1899 and had a passion for Indian art and culture. He was responsible for restoring many of India’s landmarks such as the world famous Taj Mahal. Kedleston itself is now owned by the National Trust and within the lower floors you can find the ‘Eastern Museum’ which holds a collection of objects collected by Lord Curzon and his family on their travels in Asia.

Kedleston has recently been chosen as one of the venues for the Shakti Exhibition. The main purpose of this is to look at ties between Britain and India from a cultural and artistic perspective. The exhibition has been organised by Meadow Arts (further details can be found on their website). I was excited to be able to attend the launch of this amazing exhibition which took place on a glorious Friday evening. Here is a view from one of the first floor balconies.

Before we began viewing the exhibition there was a chance to talk to other guests in Ceasar’s Hall on the ground floor of Kedleston. We were served some wonderful food and glasses of wine.

Meadow Arts have produced a small booklet with maps to the various artworks and explanations as to why the work was included. Amongst the pillars I spied my first piece :). A large round golden ball covered in exquisite embroideries. I tried to take lots of pictures but the camera really doesn’t do this piece justice, it needs to be viewed in the flesh.

One picture that particularly caught my eye was called ‘My Virtual Daughter’ by artist Bharti Parmar. It’s a silkscreen print on Fabriano embellished with silk thread. Again you really do need to see the piece for yourself to appreciate the full beauty.

We¬† moved from Caesar’s Hall to the State Floor and the magnificent Marble Hall. In the middle of this room was a large crown made with ivory duco paint on fibre reinforced plastic. It’s modelled on Elizabeth II’s crown and the surface is covered with the names of those who fell during the fight for independence. In this picture we are standing listening to Anne de Charmant, Director and Curator of meadow Arts.

I have visited Kedleston Hall many times before but it was wonderful to see contemporary works of art displayed in such a historic setting. It was also rather fabulous to be able to walk around with very few others (but that’s probably being little a bit selfish!! :P)

The last picture is of a large gilded head made by Ravinder Reddy, one of India’s most celebrated contemporary artists.

There are many more pieces of art and I would thoroughly recommend people make the effort to visit if they can. The exhibtion is going to be at Kedleston Hall until 31 October 2013. They can also be viewed in Powis Castle, Welshpool, Oriel Davies, Newton and Wolverhampton Art Gallery.



Tis the season to hold a Fair!

With the festive season rapidly approaching fairs of every creative nature seem to have sprung up. Just last weekend I visited Lustre at Lakeside Arts in Nottingham. I’ve been for the past couple of years and it’s always a wonderful mix of new and old talent. Although I think my favourite has always been Steve Handley and his wonderful cupboards and hooks. This year seemed a little overrun with jewellery designers, which I appreciate may sound a little strange coming from a jewellery business myself, it just felt a little lacking in variety in comparison to previous years.

This weekend Anne is busy working away at Banks Mill winter open studios. I would have liked to have been there too, but I’m a bit bruised after a jolt earlier in the week, so decided I was better sitting at home eating chocolate pudding (oh the hardship!)

But that’s not the end of the weekends offerings. In Derby there is also the Fabulous Places Christmas Market which promises to be an amazing shopping experience in the run up to Christmas. We were truly quite gutted not to be able to attend as we were already booked at the mill.

But if you think that means a restful few weeks will follow you’d be mistaken. We are also attending the Christmas Craft fair at Kedleston Hall next weekend.

Then we have a smaller fair coming up the week after. Not exactly sure when we Santa will fit in all our his Christmas shopping in amongst all this, perhaps we can rope in a husband elf or two with a very specific list.