Pleasure Garden at Deene Park

Set throughout the gardens of Deene Park, a Tudor and Georgian estate in rural Corby, Pleasure Garden is an exhibition of new and existing works exploring the friction created when desire in the natural and human worlds entwine.

Dyveke Bredsdorff
Bethan Lloyd Worthington
Leyla Pillai

Guest curated by Amy Lay-Pettifer

Deene Park
NN17 3EW

2 May – 29 September 2021 (subject to ongoing government guidance)

Deene Park open times and admission prices apply (from £3)

Admission to both the House and Garden is by pre-booked tickets only via

Historic Houses and RHS members can select a free ticket.

In considering how we gather and extract from nature for our own pleasure – to fantasise, decorate, bask and escape – the exhibition pays close attention to the landscape’s own amorous agency; an equal and opposite will that meets ours from the other direction.

Through a series of installations within the gardens, these artists investigate the melting point between bodies and elements – a specific chemistry that gives rise to new landscapes, textures and strategies for survival. Emerging from the heat of summer sun, from manicured lawns and from the strata of deep, excavated time, these works join the familiar elements of the natural world in a thorny, generative romance.

Listen to the accompanying podcasts for this exhibition:

  • Amy Lay-Pettifer presents an original audio essay including discussion with and contributions by Pleasure Garden artists Alice Channer and Bethan Lloyd Worthington, as well as interjections by artist Harriet Plewis.
  • Artist and writer Leyla Pillai provides a guided tour through an imagined Deene Park.

Dyveke Bredsdorff is a Danish artist based between London and Copenhagen who works within various media such as text, sound, performance, photography, 16mm film, and sculpture. Her practice explores the relationship between emotion and public expression specifically invested in reframing contemporary lesbian feminism and identity investigating visibility, representation, and lesbian feelings and desires.

Bethan Lloyd Worthington lives and works in London. Her study includes the excavation of Gully Cave, Somerset and practices of climate reconstruction.

Leyla Pillai is an artist, writer and researcher, currently producing and presenting Who’s That Girl?, a radio-art show spanning seven years in residence on NTS radio. Based between the city and the sea, her work explores unfolding spaces, suspending in freeflow ritual between sound and body, and tracing the edges of the surReal as it in-spires.

Amy Lay-Pettifer is a writer and curator. Her practice encompasses collaborative, site specific and non-book writing projects, which focus on voices, bodies, objects and how words become rituals that connect these things across time. She is co-curator of the listening project SHELL LIKE and her work has been shown/published by Information As Material, Orlando, Montez Press Radio, Tate, Victoria & Albert Museum, Towner Gallery and Liverpool Biennial.

Images: Lovers at Hampstead Heath, Dyveke Bredsdorff (2018); Confetti, emetic, Bethan Lloyd Worthington (2021), 5 circles (2021) Leyla Pillai, at Deene Park for Pleasure Garden, curated by Amy Lay-Pettifer. Photos Anna Elizabeth, 2021