Emilie Taylor Yorkshire Artspace artist in residence

A Tale of Two Estates – Chatsworth and Sheffield Manor Lodge

Artist Emilie Taylor will be the next resident artist at Yorkshire Artspace’s ‘Manor Oaks Studios’ at Sheffield Manor Lodge from September 2013 until July 2014. Emilie will spend her time between Chatsworth and Sheffield Manor Lodge to research the links between two estates.

Emilie explains her fascination with the two estates as follows:- “Historically the estates of Chatsworth and Sheffield Manor Lodge are linked by the matriarch Bess of Hardwick and her ascent to become one of the most powerful women in England. Today the estates are drastically different in many ways. Chatsworth is a ducal seat, home to the Duke & Duchess of Devonshire and Sheffield Manor Lodge is located in the Manor & Castle neighbourhood, a post-war housing estate containing predominantly social housing. Up until recently that neighbourhood was ranked in the top 10% of most deprived neighbourhoods in England. I am very interested in themes of power, social mobility and matriarchy and the contemporary journeys between the two estates

Emilie will use the wealth of archives at Chatsworth to explore her interests and spend time on the estates making drawings that will inspire illustrations relating these themes to the present day. Emilie’s residency will result in a new body of work that she will make in her studio at Yorkshire Artspace and will fire in the new wood-fired kiln at Manor Lodge.

Emilie combines the traditional slipware techniques of the working potter with gilded sgraffitto decoration that alludes to the grandeur of the Renaissance. Her style is felt to be particularly relevant to bridging the cultural history of the two locations – Manor Lodge is home to one of the UK’s oldest working potteries; and Chatsworth is home to one of the most important private collections of art in Europe. In a recent article in Ceramic Review, a leading monthly publication on contemporary ceramics, fellow ceramist and writer Penny Withers compared Emilie’s work with that of Thomas Toft, an English potter working in the Staffordshire Potteries during the 17th Century: "When once Thomas Toft's slip trailed images celebrated kings, queens and the gentry, Emilie Taylor frames graphic images of life on the fringes of society, drawing from Sheffield's urban landscape"

The artwork produced during the residency will be displayed at Chatsworth from July to November 2014 and at a venue on The Manor yet to be decided by the Artist. The residency is a collaboration between Chatsworth in Derbyshire, Yorkshire Artspace and Green Estate in Sheffield.

Editor’s notes

Contact details for information and press: Mir Jansen, Programme Manager at Yorkshire Artspace Persistence Works Studios, 21 Brown Street, Sheffield, S1 2BS 0114 2130111 \ 07985919872 \ mir@artspace.org.uk 

Emilie Taylor - is a Ceramic Artist based at Persistence Works Studios, part of Yorkshire Artspace in Sheffield. She uses the traditional form of the container or vessel to consider the ways in which British society provides containment for those within it. Recurrent themes found in her work have been ‘the post-war housing estate and the utopian ideals of Modernist architecture and council housing’. Emilie has spent time researching and working within particular locations which then inspire pictorial narratives that are portrayed on the pots. Emilie uses slip and sgraffitto techniques - traditionally associated with the British working class, personal narratives and the ‘anonymous’ local potter - to reflect on whether these original ideals continue to be relevant to residents’ lives today.

Emilie has recently completed a large commission for Sheffield Galleries and Museums Trust that was displayed in the exhibition ‘Ruskin: Force of Nature’. She also recently undertook an Arts Council funded 2-month residency at Guldagergaard - International Ceramic Research Centre in Denmark to help her perfect her wood-firing skills. Emilie worked amongst a community of 12 ceramic artists selected from all over the world which represented an invaluable opportunity to learn skills and create new networks both for herself and for the growing ceramics hub at Yorkshire Artspace’s Persistence Works and Manor Oaks Studios.

During this residency Emilie will use the new wood-fired kiln based at Sheffield Manor Lodge. This project is supported by Chatsworth, Yorkshire Artspace and Green Estate through its Sheffield Manor Lodge ‘Hands on Our Heritage Project’ supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund

Emilie will keep a residency journal accessible via the Yorkshire Artspace website

Chatsworth, set in the heart of the Peak District, is home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, and has been passed down through 16 generations of the Cavendish family. As well as its inspiring architecture, landscape and fascinating history, Chatsworth also houses the Devonshire Collection, one of Europe’s most significant art collections. The 105 acre garden features sculpture, beautiful flowers and magnificent views of the park, alongside Chatsworth's famous waterworks; the 300 year old Cascade, the trough waterfall in the rockery and the gravity-fed Emperor fountain which plays to 90m. The working farmyard and adventure playground offers the opportunity to come face to face with farm animals, and people of all ages can handle the animals and learn about farming and country life.

Yorkshire Artspace has been in existence since 1977 and is the oldest and largest artists’ studio organisation in Sheffield. In addition to providing workspace to artists and craftspeople, it also offers a comprehensive programme of professional development support for both early-career and more established artists and craftspeople. Yorkshire Artspace manages 4 sites in Sheffield, Manor Oaks opened in 2010 and is located at Manor neighbourhood in Sheffield on a site managed by Green Estate that also houses Sheffield Manor Lodge, a former Tudor Manor House built by 6th Early of Shrewsbury and his wife Bess of Hardwick.

Green Estate is the Sheffield based social enterprise responsible for leading a programme of environmental regeneration on the Manor and Castle Estates including the restoration and management of the Sheffield Manor Lodge Site. The company started life in 1998 with one year grant funding for 2 members of staff. The ‘Big Idea’ was to establish the ‘Chatsworth of the Inner City’ in what at the time was one of the most excluded and poorest interwar housing estate in the Country. Today the company employs around 50 people, manages a number of local parks and offers a wide range of programmes for Volunteering, Training, Education and Engagement. Income is derived in all sorts of ways although the major sources are commercial landscape services, green waste composting and through GE’s specialist seed company, Pictorial Meadows. All of the businesses have been designed to address local unemployment and well-being and all the profit from the more commercial activities is used to subsidise important but less commercially viable initiatives.