Radical Horizons at Chatsworth: Burning Man Art Installations Explained

26th April 2022
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Few places express the raw energy of art like the Burning Man festival. For nine days each year, tens of thousands of people gather at a temporary city in the desert to celebrate the uniting power of art in one of the world’s most evocative landscapes: the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, USA. 

Noticing that Burning Man’s core principles of inclusion, self-expression and community aligned with the values of Chatsworth House, the two organisations were introduced by Sotheby’s — a world leader in art and luxury sales and long-term Arts Partner of Chatsworth. 

So, for the first time ever, artwork from Burning Man will be coming to the UK, and Chatsworth House is honoured to host this unprecedented exhibition between April 9th and October 1st 2022.

What art installations will be featured at the event?

In total, twelve sculptures will be installed in the park that surrounds the Chatsworth House.

Eight of the works have appeared at the Burning Man festival in previous years. Three of the sculptures will be built collaboratively throughout the exhibit by visitors and local community groups, and one exclusive new piece has been commissioned especially for Chatsworth.

Burning Man Artists - Who will be featured at Radical Horizons: The Art of Burning Man at Chatsworth?

The Flybrary by Christina Sporrong, Burning Man 2019

The Flybrary is a 20-foot-tall steel head with book-like birds flying out of the top. The contemplative face is non-binary and a mixture of all races, colours, and creeds. The birds represent thoughts, the eyes looking up towards them thoughtfully. Sporrong captures the idea that contemplation within a surreal setting and circumstance inspires new ways of seeing things, expanding one’s view from within to affect one’s view without.

The Flybrary by Christina Sporrong

Murder, Inc. by Charles Gadeken, Burning Man 2019

Murder, Inc. is a group (or “murder”) of 100 crows that represent the unrepentant and uninhibited power of nature. The inspiration behind the sculpture was Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, and each crow was individually drawn by artists around the world cut from mild steel. 

Lodestar by Randy Polumbo, Burning Man 2018

Lodestar is made from a World War II military jet that has blossomed into a contemplative flower and gathering place for guest ‘pollinators.’ It has a curved steel substructure with steel legs and landing pads. It is decorated with hand blown glass flowers populated with mercury silvered plate glass, welded aluminium, and LEDs.

Lodestar by Randy Polumbo. Photography Espresso Buzz

Transmutation by Arturo Gonzalez & Maru Izaguirre, Burning Man 2019

Transmutation invites us to question whether it is ethical to play at being gods and whether the return of extinct species, such as the saber-toothed tiger, will give rise to new beings created by man. The skeleton of this creature is made of fibreglass and metal, while the outside is adorned with traditional Mexican patterns in acrylic and fluorescent paint.

Le Attrata by Margaret Long & Orion Fredericks, Burning Man 2016

The moths perch atop three metal spires, the bases stretching across the ground to support richly finished wooden benches made from Douglas fir. A feat of engineering, when alight, they create a spectacular show of dancing sparks and flames.

Le Attrata by Margaret Long and Orion Fredericks. Photography by LadyBee

Mum by Mr & Mrs Ferguson, Chatsworth exclusive

Mum is made from polystyrene, concrete and 55,000 US and Canadian pennies, and was made exclusively for display at Chatsworth. Assembled in the artists’ studio in California, this sculpture features a mother bear and her two cubs.

Mum by Mr & Mrs Ferguson

Wings of Wind (W.O.W) by Bryan Tedrick

Wings of Wind (W.O.W.) is a pair of steel wings with a 28-foot wingspan that rotate in the breeze. These wings have been made especially for the exhibition at Chatsworth based on a previous set built in 2008. They include a circular frame at the centre, proportional to human scale, which allows an adult to stand inside with arms outstretched to resemble Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man.

Wings of Wind (W.O.W) by Bryan Tedrick

Stone 40 by Benjamin Langholtz and Amihay Gonon, Chatsworth exclusive

Stone 40 is similar to a previous work by the artist but newly imagined for the Chatsworth landscape. The stones used in this work were gathered from a quarry close to Chatsworth and were chosen to match the stones used to construct the house. The steel structure supporting the stones was fabricated in Benjamin’s Berlin studio and required 180m of welding to complete. Visitors will be able to climb up the ‘floating’ stones and explore the artwork.

Stone 40 by Benjamin Langholtz and Amihay Gonon. Photography by Dan Adams

What Burning Man community art pieces will be displayed at the event? 

Burning Man celebrates collaboration and self-expression, and Chatsworth House is proud to support local causes. In addition to new and existing works, the Radical Horizons: The Art of Burning Man at Chatsworth will feature three community-driven sculptures by acclaimed artists.

Coralee by Dana Albany

The sculpture takes inspiration from local folklore of Mermaid's Pool, situated just below Kinder Scout in the High Peaks of Derbyshire. Dana’s work reclaims our scraps and discarded objects to give them new meaning, and she is working with children from the local community to build the artwork from found objects collected by the children. 

Chatsworth Bottle Towers by Shrine

Shrine is working with young adults from the Chatsworth community to create Chatsworth Bottle Towers, a unique artwork made from ‘trash’ and found objects. Using recycled glass and plastic bottles stacked into towers and held together with other found materials, the artwork will define a new space in the landscape

Relevé by Rebekah Waites

Relevé pays homage to the Nine Ladies, a Bronze Age stone circle near Chatsworth House and celebrates the rebellious spirit of dance, music, and art. Nine twisted structures made of wood and intricately decorated with a rope and string laced façade, dance around one another. It has been created with young volunteers from the local community. Mirroring the closing ceremonies of Burning Man, this sculpture will burn at the end of the exhibition as a celebratory finale. 

Book tickets for Radical Horizons: The Art of Burning Man at Chatsworth event

The exhibition starts from April 9th and ends on October 1st, 2022. Entry is free for all ages and the exhibit is open between 9:00am - 6:00pm every day.

If you are travelling by car, it is advised that you purchase a car park ticket in advance and guided tours take place daily at 11:00am and 2:00pm for those who want to learn more about the installations.


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