Collecting StrandNational Resource Centre for Dance
Extent33 designs, 3 folders of press reviews, 1 bound volume
Name of CreatorChambers; Stephen (1960-present; artist
DescriptionThe collection contains a number of preparatory works for the set and back cloth designs for Ashley Page's ballet This House Will Burn (2001). The designs are in a variety of media: paint, pencil, colour pencil, felt tip, pen, gel pen, and laminate gloss on paper, card and polystyrene board. The archive also houses a collection of articles on each of the works Chambers is believed to have inspired Page. These include press reviews, biographical information, and photocopied theatre programmes.

Danced by four women and five men, This House Will Burn premiered on 7 March 2001 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London and was performed seven times in March 2001. Anne Sacks of The Evening Standard described the work as 'juxtapositions of order and chaos, fantasy and reality, secrecy and knowing, public and private' (8 March 2001, p54). For the work, Chambers designed a series of painted back cloths and included on the stage a kitchen sink, iron bed and an installation of furniture and lamps.
ArrangementThe artworks have been categorised under two categories Initial Designs and Final Designs. From these classifications derive sub-categories of Set Design, Back Cloth Featuring 1 Person, and Back Cloth featuring 2 People. They have been classified with the aid of the repositionable adhesive notes attached to the works, and from information from Flowers Central.
Press reviews and programmes for Sleeping With Audrey (1996), Room of Cooks (1997), and This House Will Burn (2001) have been put into their own folders and catalogued chronologically.
Administrative HistoryBritish artist Stephen Chambers (b. 1960) trained at Winchester, St Martin's, and Chelsea School of Art. His paintings and prints are in the collections of the Tate Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris), and Frissiras Museum (Athens). His published works include Long Pig (1994), Four Heads (1994), Healing Poems for the Great Ape (1997), and Insomnia (1999). He was made a member of the Royal Academy in 2005.

Stephen Chambers's paintings provided inspiration for two dance works by Royal Ballet choreographer Ashley Page: Sleeping with Audrey (1996) and Room of Cooks (1997). In 2000, Chambers collaborated with Page on his final dance work for the Royal Ballet before leaving to direct Scottish Ballet: This House Will Burn. The creative team was Ashley Page (choreographer), Orlando Gough (music), Stephen Chambers (set design), Jon Morrell (costume design), and Peter Mumford (lighting design).
Physical DescriptionStandard archival practice was used throughout, with an emphasis on conservation. Masking tape was removed from the works, and fragile works were supported with archival board when wrapped in archival tissue paper. Repositionable adhesive notes were removed, stuck onto archival paper, placed in archival polyester pockets and returned to their origin. Loose pieces have been accounted for in the physical description on the catalogue record. Fragile or damaged documents are individually accounted for in the catalogue.
Paintings/drawings of A3 size or below were photocopied onto archival paper, to avoid unnecessary disturbance to the pieces if a researcher/archivist needs to get a sense of the archive's collection. Digital photographs were taken of pieces over A3 size, to record their image at the time of acquisition, and again, to avoid unnecessary disturbance (images are only on the NRCD computer). Care must be taken when looking at the actual artwork.
CopyrightThe artist's work may not be reproduced without his prior permission.
Custodial HistoryThe gallery Flowers Central deposited the collection in November 2002 on behalf of Stephen Chambers.
CodePerson NameDates
DS/UK/P10475Chambers; Stephen (1960-present); Artist1960-present
DS/UK/P294Page; Ashley (1956-present)1956-present
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