Sudley Castle was once home to Queen Katherine Parr, she’s the one who survived King Henry VIII. Henry himself, Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey, Queen Elizabeth I and Richard III have all been associated with the castle. King Charles I found refuge here during the Civil War, and Modenus dropped by on our way to the Cotswolds.
When we called by Sotheby’s were kind enough to be exhibiting, and selling, some rather surprising works by contemporary artists.
As ever, here’s a few for your enjoyment.
Wellness Skull by Rotterdam-based design collective Atelier Van Lieshout (be warned, if you are not familiar with their work – their site contains some challenging images and ideas) manages to be even stranger than it first appears. The upper cranium houses a fully working sauna and the lower section offers a bath/shower facility. The pierced eye sockets provide ventilation. What you see if you happen to be walking by is a haze of steam coming from the skull’s eyes. Its one of an edition of three, conceived in 2007 and made from fiberglass, polyurethane, polystyrene and plywood.
Also by Atelier Van Lieshout , Utopian Doghouse. is AVL’s offering for the pampered pet. It boasts an integrated feeding centre, ramp and several interior spaces. This one off is made from fibreglass and wood and was originally conceived for the Busan biennale in Korea, where dogs are often a feature of national cuisine. The irony was, no doubt, fully intentional.
Pablo Reinoso is a successful product designer with a broad repertoire that includes furniture, lighting and jewelery design. He is also an artist renowned for his dramatic re-interpretations of ubiquitous and often overlooked objects. Spaghetti Corten, which is part of a series focusing on public benches is made from teak and Cor-Ten steel.
Pouring Jug is by the Dutch-Belgian design duo Studio Job, also known as Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel. You may be familiar with their work from the Museum of Modern Art, New York or the V & A in London. Don’t expect too much if you follow the link but we promise a blog dedicated to their work soon.Its hard to know what to say about this work, partially in polished bronze except it perfectly illustrates the wit, imagination and, one suspects tenacity of Sotheby’s in organising an exhibition in the grounds of an historic castle. And it is one of the reasons why driving around England, stumbling across wonders like these is such a delight.