Promenade

The Marble Hall at Kedleston. ©NTPL/Dennis Gilbert

A new temporary art installation called Promenade has just been installed at Kedleston Hall. The work by Susie MacMurray consists of 200 km of of gold thread woven among the pillars of the Marble Hall. A video of it can be seen here on the Daily Telegraph website.

The peacock dress. ©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

The artist has been inspired by the peacock dress worn by Lady Curzon at the Delhi Durbar in 1903. Her husband Lord Curzon was the Viceroy of India at the time. The dress, also on display at Kedleston, was constructed of cloth of gold and Susie MacMurray imagined it unravelled and entwined amongst the pillars.

Detail of the State Apartments at Kedleston, with a blue-john urn and a gilded fillet surrounding the fireplace. ©NTPL/Dennis Gilbert

Promenade also refers to the gold elements in the Robert-Adam-designed interiors at Kedleston, which have featured on this blog previously

And of course a maze of threads reminds one of the ancient Greek legend of Theseus, who unravelled a thread while searching for the Minotaur in his labyrinth. And then there are the threads of history, and of causality.

Pause amongst the pillars... ©NTPL/Dennis Gilbert

But the work is also intended simply to make the visitor aware of his or her  surroundings, to suggest a moment of contemplation.

6 Responses to “Promenade”

  1. Susan Holloway Scott Says:

    What is the “gilded fillet” surrounding the mantle made from? Is it cast metal that’s been gilded, or moulded paper? Very beautiful against the blue, whatever it may be.

  2. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Good question – I will ask my learned colleagues and get back to you.

  3. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Update: colleagues have told me that they know of examples in papier mâché, composition (a mixture of resin, whiting, glue and linseed oil used for making moulded picture frames), gesso (plaster mixed with glue), carved wood and various metals.

  4. Susan Holloway Scott Says:

    Many thanks for following up on this, Emile. I’ve seen examples that were the papier mache, but this was so much more elaborate that I wondered if it could be the same. An elegant touch of gold!

  5. Magnaverde Says:

    As an art installation, this is an interesting idea, but any visitor to Kedleston who requires a gold-thread maze to ‘make him aware of hus surroundings’ is a hopeless mope who deserves no further thought.

  6. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    That’s a bit harsh, I think. Even in very grand or beautiful surroundings one sometimes rushes through without taking it all in. This installation is partly about slowing people down. You might then suddenly see a particularly beautiful grain in the marble of the pillars, or another small detail that you might not otherwise have noticed.

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