Collecting stories: Daniel Chadwick

The artist invites us into the romantic Cotswolds manor house where his own works blend harmoniously with those of his father, the revered sculptor Lynn Chadwick

Daniel Chadwick’s father, the semi-abstract sculptor Lynn Chadwick, purchased Lypiatt Park in Gloucestershire, in the southwest of England, in 1959. ‘This place was the same price as a three-bedroom house… and nobody wanted it,’ said Lynn of the medieval manor house, added to significantly in the 19th century, but which was first recorded in 1220.

‘When my father came here, he wanted no detail to take away attention from looking at the sculpture,’ says his son, Lypiatt Park’s current owner. ‘As a child we were armed with paintbrushes. My mother had a paintbrush, my father had one, and they did it themselves. Just painting it all white, you don’t lose the detail — it somehow just takes it away from being in your face.’

The house and gardens are home to some 60 or 70 imposing works by Lynn Chadwick, which in many instances have been paired with Daniel’s own pieces. ‘Mine are little bit more lyrical and airy, a bit more like thoughts, above. His works are sort of heavy and powerful and grounded. I think they look good together.’

‘I walk out of the bedroom in the morning and Damien Hirst’s big “Spin” painting is there in front of me, and it really is just — “Wham! Here I am!”’ — Daniel Chadwick

Lynn Chadwick’s collection of works by other artists, notably Terry Ilott, also mingle with those favoured by his son. ‘My father basically bought [Terry Ilott’s] entire degree show from 1967. For me they really have been a firm association with the house, for my whole life.’

Daniel Chadwick has added works by writer, artist, sculptor and poet William Figg, whom he recalls having met by chance on a train. ‘He was already a very old man. He was having difficulty trying to roll a cigarette. So I helped roll his cigarette and we got talking, and he was interesting.’

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A work called Nine Spots, by Figg, is complemented by a black and white ‘Spot’ painting by Damien Hirst. Another of Hirst’s works greets Chadwick each morning. ‘I walk out of the bedroom, and Damien’s big “Spin” painting is there, in front of me, and it really is just — “Wham! Here I am!”

‘Everything [in the collection] has a different meaning,’ he continues. ‘Everything tells a story, everything has a history. That means a lot.’