World is Chaos, Creativity is Order

Tom Marshman, performance artist

‘World is Chaos, Creativity is Order’ is drawing parallels between the early eighteenth century and today. Through the work of four artists we’re asking, just how much has the world changed in the past 300 years?

Hanbury Hall was built at the turn of the eighteenth century, a time when the world felt fraught. Politics were elitist and corrupt, the threat of European take-over felt high, the economic divide was vast and an ever-present promise of religious attack kept England on edge. For Thomas Vernon, Hanbury Hall was designed to be his place of retreat and escape from this chaotic world; where the works of Sir James Thornhill created an alternative drama and the formal designs of George London’s gardens provided a soothing, rhythmical sanctuary.

World is Chaos, Creativity is Order’ continues this tradition of working with artists, providing us all with the opportunity to see Hanbury in new ways.


Agnes Jones

‘An artist blacksmith who ‘draws’ in steel’

“The location and area around each piece is important as the work is forced to interact with the shapes, movement and feel of a site." – Agnes Jones

Agnes is aiming to recreate one of Hanbury’s lost pavilions with steel and coloured glass framework; the walls will be quite open but will consist of a tableau of steel framed figures telling the tales of Hanbury’s most prominent people. The pavilion will hopefully also become a small place of contemplation and learning in the gardens, a place to find order within the chaos.

'Io' by Agnes Jones. Uppark House, National Trust
'Io' by Agnes Jones. Uppark House, National Trust

Lyndall Phelps

‘An artist whose work invites a glimpse into the unfamiliar or forgotten or a chance to see the everyday in a different light’

“I was particularly taken by the idea that many visitors do not fully understand or relate to the garden” – Lyndall Phelps

Lyndall is hoping to create pieces that complement the beauty and importance of the garden; that highlight and celebrate its design principles and concepts. She would like visitors to understand and appreciate a style which is drastically different from Brown landscapes, Victorian carpet bedding and the herbaceous boarders of Jekyll.

Intricate glass and jewelled designs inspired by the vegetable garden, the semi-circle and the parterre will light up My Lady's Parlour, the Cedar Bedroom and the Hercules dressing room.

'Covariance' by Lyndall Phelps. Institute of Physics, London
'Covariance' by Lyndall Phelps. Institute of Physics, London

Matt Smith

‘An artist who works mainly with clay and textiles’

“Trying to viscerally connect with this period of history can be difficult and I would very much like to provoke and engage a connection between contemporary visitors to Hanbury and the house’s history.” – Matt Smith

Matt will be creating two enormous ceramic sculptures which will be presented within the house. Made up of dozens of casts of objects ranging from natural history specimens through to classical figures, these large blue and white ceramic centrepieces will manifest the desire to place order on an eighteenth century world which seemed chaotic, confusing and unpredictable.

'Unravelled' by Matt Smith. Uppark House, National Trust
'Unravelled' by Matt Smith. Uppark House, National Trust

Tom Marshman

‘An artist whose interest lies in uncovering personal stories behind people and historic buildings’

Tom is keen to respond to the theme of ‘World is Chaos, Creativity is Order’ through looking at the chaotic world of love and desire; in particular the stories within the impressive Thornhill paintings at Hanbury and their connection to the LGBTQ community.

“I would like to consider ways to convey recognition of LGBTQ communities and individuals as a valued part of society, contributing to wider social histories.” – Tom Marshman

Tom is hoping to embrace these stories relating to, and inspired by the gods, in various fun and irreverent performances on the staircase and in the Great Hall.

'Performance' Tom Marshman
'Performance' Tom Marshman