Ursula von Rydingsvard: Damski Czepek

Clothing and fabric are recurrent themes in von Rydingsvard’s work, expressed through abstracted forms relating to traditional collars, aprons, and lace. These ideas originate from the physical and tactile side of her memory, where her Polish heritage is vitally important. Damski Czepek translates as ‘lady’s bonnet’, and has a central hood-like form, with snaking ribbons extending out into the landscape. The shape welcomes you in and envelopes you, and echoes some of the eighteenth-century follies across the estate, such as the Shell Grotto.

Von Rydingsvard typically works in cedar wood, a material she has used for the majority of her career and whose properties she now knows intimately. Some of her large-scale works in different materials are actually made first in cedar and then cast, so that the qualities of the wood can be seen and felt through another medium. Damski Czepek is made from polyurethane resin and its smoky blue-grey colouration appears to alter with changing weather conditions and light, becoming almost translucent when sunlight shines through it.