2016 Celebrating Art in the Garden at West Lavington Manor
2016 Exhibition Announced
West Lavington Manor is an exceptionally beautiful five acre walled garden. The variety of informal and formal spaces, with a lake and trout stream, provides a wonderful background for the display of contemporary sculpture.
We are delighted that ‘Celebrating Art in the Garden’ returns to West Lavington Manor on 26 May. The exhibition continues each Wednesday to Sunday until 12 June with an additional opening on Bank Holiday Monday 30 May. Our hours of opening are 11am until 6pm each day. Entry fee is £7. A seniors concession of £5 is available excepting on the NGS day 11 June.
The Manor is located at 1 Church Street, West Lavington, SN10 4LA
Please note: Registered Assistance dogs only. Wheelchair access is limited
Artists taking part in the exhibition this year are;
Click any image to enlarge
‘All of my work is drawn from nature. I was initially inspired to capture the colour and form of sea life from my experience of scuba diving in warm seas. Now I love combining the vibrant colours of glass with aluminium or copper to make creatures that bring a sense of fun and movement into the garden.’ Alison works in wire, fused glass and combinations of both, making figurative pieces for both indoors and outside. Her work captures the form and sense of movement in a piece whether of a dancer on point or a school of fish. She enjoys the juxtaposition of two dimensional and colourful glass mixed with mainly plain sliver wire to create a three dimensional sculpture. For this exhibition she has taken her inspirations from the natural world with an elegant peacock, swooping swallows and the flash of turquoise from a kingfisher flying by. Her flying fish have also taken to the air while a pheasant and duck strike a more restful pose.
‘I am inspired by colour, line and light in the natural world and am especially attracted to the design aesthetic of Scandinavia and Japan.’ Anna is the daughter of a Danish weaver who grew up surrounded by colour and yarn and is herself a graduate in textiles from Bath Spa University School of Art and Design. Using non-traditional materials Anna has developed an innovative stitching technique which she applies to one or more transparent surfaces to create vibrant 3D ‘drawings’. Until recently her work has mostly been to commission for interior spaces although a major commission for a Chelsea show garden was subsequently relocated to the Eden Project. Anna would very much like to create more work for outdoor settings and is currently exploring how she might use glass to enable her to translate her indoor textile screens into architectural artworks durable for outdoors. She recently won the Friends of the Garden 2015 bursary award which has funded her to progress this development through a foundation course at the Glass Hub. The piece Anna is exhibiting here is a screen print on glass and is made for placing in a garden setting.
‘I constantly find inspiration from the way plants in the garden burst into life and change throughout the seasons.’ Over the course of many years Anne has designed and developed an exceptional garden that sweeps around her Essex home and studio. Close observation of the plants here has led her to extend her sculpture vocabulary and experiment with organic forms. She is especially captivated by life unfurling in the form of leaves and flowers and the later development of seed pods. Each process implies controlled movement, a disciplined and mathematical precision and at the same time a display of immense internal energy. She strives to translate these into stone, or as here, on a larger scale into bronze or resin. Making at this scale is challenging. Anne works in an old aircraft hangar where the fumes and dust of hot carving of vast blocks of polystyrene are less likely to harm the environment. The resulting sculptures can then be moulded for casting in resin or bronze. Anne is a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors. Her work has been exhibited widely both in this country and abroad and her large scale sculptures feature in private collections on both sides of the Atlantic. Her portrait sculpture is internationally recognised and her busts of Roy Jenkins, Michael Heseltine and John Major are held in the House of Commons collection of prominent politicians.
‘I am fascinated by the way juxtaposing transparent and solid materials allows for the play of light and shadow to create a unique experience for the viewer.’ Belinda’s early work as a figurative painter and sculptor reflected her desire to capture transparency. In her earlier work she left incomplete lines on drawings and incorporated a looseness in sculptures in stone or bronze. A more recent development using glass and metal has allowed her to completely transform her practice. The pieces shown here are typical of her current work. Each abstract sculpture is designed to encourage the viewer to look through and around them and to see the world in a new way. In making these pieces Belinda uses heat to slump glass, grinding into the resulting form to prevent the viewer from looking straight through an otherwise transparent material. The reflections made by mirrored metal introduce an additional dynamic, one completed by the changing light from sun and cloud and the seasonal changes that take place in a garden setting. Based in in London and Wiltshire, Belinda has a Masters in Creative Arts from UCA, Farnham.
‘My studio sits in the grounds of what was formerly the Keepers Cottage and much of my inspiration comes from what I see beyond the windows. I enjoy the quiet solitude of fishing in rivers and the thrill of a catch too.’ Bryan lives and works in rural Wiltshire surrounded by the type of environment that is reflected in his work. Wild birds were the focus of Bryan’s original inspiration and his portfolio of bronze sculptures is perhaps best known for these. More recently his work has extended to include paintings of landscapes, portraits and sporting subjects. He has exhibited widely in this country and at the prestigious ‘Birds in Art’ exhibition held annually in Wisconsin.
‘I love the challenge that comes from taking hard, unforgiving materials and turning them into sculptures that suggest softness and fragility.’ Carole’s unusual sculpting process takes the techniques of embroidery and origami and applies them to unforgiving materials such as roofing felt and wire mesh. Her inspiration comes from the natural world of coral reefs, wild and cultivated plants. Each piece expands the minutiae of these intricate life forms to human scale and in doing so challenges us to look at each one in a different way. Carole has a Fine Art degree from the University of Kent in Canterbury and is a Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors. She has exhibited widely in this country and in France and the USA and her work is held in numerous private and public collections. The pieces Carole is exhibiting here in wonderfully vibrant colours, are evocative of plant forms including her striking Amazonian lily pads in the lake. Critical mass by contrast is more subdued and hints at the fragility of the earth.
‘My work is a continual exploration of light and it never fails to surprise me!’ Chris initially studied furniture and design but a fascination with light led her to explore the physical and visual qualities of glass and she went on to study architectural scale glass at the Royal College of Art. Since then Chris has experimented with a wide range of forms for both internal and outside spaces using both glass and acrylic. The sculptural piece (Eclipse) hanging by the lake uses a special film (originally developed by NASA called dichroic) which causes the acrylic to project coloured light onto the surrounding foliage and change in colour depending on the angle of the sun or the viewer’s position. Chris has undertaken major public commissions in this country, most recently for Great Ormond Street Hospital. In 2015 her exhibitions included the Islamic Festival of Art in Sharjah, United Arab Emirate and a solo exhibition at the Shanghai Museum of Glass.
‘From the beginning my twin passions have been horses and drawing’ For many years Heather made drawings of horses out in the field, at racecourses and in stable yards. She then began sculpting horses initially in plaster and clay. Heather felt these failed to capture the power and strength of a horse and in seeking alternatives realised that driftwood offered a medium that could express these qualities in quite wonderful ways. Fine Art gallery Corcoux and Corcoux supported Heather with solo shows in the early stages of this new phase until in 2000 she had a real breakthrough when her work featured in the Millennium celebration 100 years of British sculpture at Canary Wharf. Today Heather lives and works in a garden she has created in Devon. There huge stacks of driftwood sit alongside completed horse heads, foals and life-size horses. All are suitable for display indoors as driftwood or as bronze castings for showing outdoors. The casting process is a real challenge with each piece of driftwood having to be separately cast and then finished and welded back into the form of the driftwood original. The transformation, as shown in this exhibition, is quite magical
‘My work often begins with the human figure but I also love crossing boundaries and exploring abstract and conceptual art.’ In her current work, Henrietta explores the overlap between drawing and sculpture, the sketch and final polished piece, and the incorporation of the written word into the sculptural image. She believes sculpture is about communication and likes to explore the different ways it can achieve this, be it by resonating emotionally with the viewer, or by the ability of the piece to suggest a story. Henrietta gains full flexibility in her approach by working in stone, wood, metal, clay and plaster, often in combination. Each material has its own particular nature which influences and complements the image, as well as giving it physical form. Henrietta studied Art History at Cambridge University and Fine Art in London and Brussels. She now lives and works as a sculptor in Oxfordshire, producing thought-provoking works which take many different forms. She exhibits in the UK and internationally and has work in private and public collections across Europe. She is a member of the Oxford Sculptors’ Group, the Surrey Sculpture Society and the Medical Art Society.
‘My sculpture is inspired by pattern and structure in nature and focuses on silhouettes, shadows and the movement of leaf, branch, light and flame’ Ian’s background in graphic design influences his exploration of form, pattern and line. He designs intricate patterns for both freestanding and wall mounted sculptures for interior and exterior spaces. The final artwork is laser cut into a variety of materials transforming the drawn line into a tangible object. In 2015 his work ‘Eye of the Hurricane’ was selected for the Royal West of England Academy exhibition ‘Drawn’. More recently he was awarded a major commission by Notting Hill Housing Association to make three wall sculptures for an apartment building. His work has also been exhibited at Art Fairs in New York and Hong Kong and at the RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows.
Jenny is an artist blacksmith whose contemporary style sculptures combine galvanised steel and blown glass. Her work is inspired by nature and includes a wide range of architectural ironwork for gates and garden seating, water features and a range of small and large scale sculptures, mostly based on flower forms. Some of Jenny’s sculptural plant forms are much larger than life and here they introduce a new dynamic into the orchard. The scale and strength of their metal structure stands in contrast to the delicacy of the blown glass flowers, yet at the same time each of the elements move slightly in wind. Elsewhere Jenny’s smaller work introduces flowers into the yew avenue. All of Jenny’s pieces are galvanised forged steel and blown glass.
‘I have a lifelong love of geometry and my recent sculpture reflects that.’ Jim’s Thurlstone home close to the Yorkshire Moors, is also just a few miles from the quarries where he sources stone for his sculptures. Over the past three years Jim has been experimenting with geometric sculptures. These try to mimic natural forms shaped by the action of wind, water and frost. Each surface is curved rather than flat and the angles between the surfaces gradually vary. This turns the stone from an inert form into something almost dramatic and sensual – not a natural organic form but an elemental form yet designed only by Euclidean geometry. On these carefully honed surfaces there is magic in the way each is transformed by the interplay of light, shadow and water on each surface. Placed here in the Manor’s colour themed gardens, Mobius VII, IIX and IX provide a central focus to their densely planted surroundings. This year, in addition to showing with us, Jim has been commissioned by award winning garden designer, Rae Wilkinson, to make a large Mobius sculpture for her Hampton Court garden ‘A Breath of Fresh Air.’
‘I am always on the lookout for a story or theme that can be developed as sculpture’. Born in Prague, Jitka grew up in Moravia where she studied and qualified as a doctor of medicine. Following a move to this country she studied ceramics at Croydon College of Art and Design, setting up a studio in London. Since moving to Bristol she has taught master classes at Cardiff University and at colleges in Bristol and Bath. She has also completed a stone masonry course at City of Bath College. Currently Jitka works in both clay and stone. Fascinated by people, their spontaneous movement and character, her ‘Talking Heads’ installation is created around a concept of ‘conversation’. Jitka uses slips, oxides, stains and glazes in a painterly fashion, building up layers of colour in vibrant combinations hoping to bring to life an imaginary dialogue between great personalities she admires. Her ‘Garden Spirits’ installation is a playful group of masks, representing the Creatures of Nature hiding in the garden and with their stylized features and brightly coloured glazes, they can amuse or scare. In her stone pieces, with the absence of colour, Jitka has taken up the challenge of telling the story through form only. ‘Briar Rose’ has been inspired by a particular version of a Sleeping Beauty story, where the briar rose thorn acts like the trigger of all events. The ‘Venus’ sculpture springs from Jitka’s passion for outdoor swimming, dipping or floating and represents a moment of calm and ease. Jitka’s work is held in public and private collections including the Musee National de Ceramique in Paris.
‘My inspiration comes from observing people and from capturing their quieter moments.’ Jo’s work is concerned with the human form and its relationships with and comparison to landscape and the surrounding environment. Jo’s sculptures are created in clay and fired to form unique work or cast in bronze resin to form limited editions. Her figures are ambiguous, self-contained characters – quiet, contemplative, serene, with their heads either bowed or looking skyward - they are together yet apart. Jo studied sculpture under Ivor Roberts-Jones and Michael Kenney at Goldsmiths and subsequently attended Reading University. Her work has been exhibited in many places including Chichester Cathedral, the Bishop’s Palace Gardens at Wells, The Life Building City of London, and many Galleries across the country. Her sculpture is held in private collections in the USA, Australia and Denmark as well as this country.
‘My inspiration comes from the ceramics of early South American civilisations, especially their symbolic use of human and animal imagery. My aim is to simplify these images to create sculptures that portray grace, pride and humour and breathe new life into their surroundings.’ Lilia Umaña-Clarke was born in Colombia where she trained as an architect. She moved to England in 1979 to study for a fine arts degree and completed a BA in that subject at the University of Hertfordshire. She now has a studio in Hackney, London and has exhibited in galleries across the UK as well as at RHS Garden Wisley and the Hampton Court flower show. She specialises in textured stoneware ceramics using her signature combination of dry glazes and oxides.
‘I love the way lettering in stone allows me to make a deeply personal and long lasting sculptural form that expresses a tribute, evokes a memory or simply makes a statement.’ From her studio in the Pewsey Vale, and based on her background in visual recognition, art and design, Lisi creates a wide range of original and beautifully crafted representational sculptures in stone and slate, inspired by themes as diverse as poetry, history, philosophy, science and the landscape. Many pieces are to bespoke commissions. The work especially created for this exhibition demonstrate Lisi’s ability to respond to her sense of the spirit of place and in some instances, also reveal her wonderfully quirky sense of humour. Each piece has unique lettering which is hand drawn and designed and then traditionally cut with a chisel and mallet resulting in individual, charismatic pieces of art for either an interior or exterior statement. One piece in particular is sure to intrigue visitors. ‘Tranquillity’ is designed to be placed near still water so that the word is revealed in a reflection. The light at this side of the lake is not ‘right’ for the greater part of the day so it is placed here with a mirror for visitors to appreciate its magic whenever they time their visit. ‘A good piece of lettering is as beautiful a thing to see as any sculpture or painting.’ Eric Gill.
‘My home and studio is on a medieval farm near Colchester. I constantly find inspiration in the history of the generations who have worked this land since the Bronze Age.’ Lucy studied sculpture at Colchester School of Art graduating in 2006. Since then she has developed her practice by further study with Suffolk based sculptor Miles Robinson. The landscape which surrounds Lucy’s everyday life informs all of her work. It influences the flowing shapes which typically evolve into birdlike or botanical forms pared down into a seemingly simplistic state. She loves the honesty of rusting metal and seeks to replicate this by using iron resin for much of her work when appropriate. Lucy sculpts directly in resin, a robust method that works well for some of her work. Many pieces are then subsequently cast in bronze, a process which enhances the delicacy and elegance of her sculpture. The pieces shown here are all in cast bronze. They are suitable for display indoors as well as outside. Lucy’s work features at the Sculpt Gallery in Essex and she has shown at RHS Hyde Hall and other outdoor exhibitions in the region.
‘I am inspired by movement, expression and memory – I feel my work captures what for me is a moment of pure poetry’ Lydia works mainly in the figurative tradition using bronze and bronze resin. She has undertaken a wide variety of public commissions including a statue of Sir Nicholas Winton for Maidenhead station and the ‘Green Man’ in Woburn Square, London. She is a graduate of Central St Martins and a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors
‘What I am looking for in my work with 'clay and fire' lies in their own essential beauty - subjective, difficult to define, control or repeat - something to do with chance coincidence. My methods are as simple and direct as possible where chance has space to surprise. This leads me along a narrow ridge between my will and that of the material.’ Martin defines his vessels as 'pots in essence' whose raison d'être is the balance between form and surface. They seem to have depth and volume but on closer inspection are almost flat. Certain parallels can be drawn with the work of the German potter Hans Coper, whose non-regular three dimensional shapes, with their juxtapositions of forms, light and shade, invited multiple viewpoints like a Cézanne table-top or a Cubist still-life. His most recent work is preoccupied with the core of the work. After firing the prepared surfaces of these works are struck off with a hammer and chisel to reveal an archaeological looking ‘core’. These purely abstract sculptures combine a contemporary aesthetic with the shadow of times past. Martin lives and works in Germany. He has exhibited widely and his work is held in public collections including the Rijksmuseum NL, the Ichon Ceramic Museum in Korea, Frankfurt and other museums in Germany and the Jerwood Collection in this country. He has undertaken residencies in China, Japan, Canada and Slovenia.
‘In my work I try to capture the way much of what we see in nature is made up of simple repeated elements which combine to make a wonderfully coherent form – seed heads have a particular resonance for me and much of my inspiration comes from observing plants in my own garden.’ Mike studied silver-smithing at Camberwell School of Art and developed his sculptural work at the Royal College of Art after a year’s research of thin metal manipulation at Camberwell School of Art. His large sculptural work developed from using his silver-smithing skills on a grand scale. Each piece is a response to the complex shapes and structures of organic segmentation in plants and their seeds. This is apparent in the seamed segments of cut and beaten sheet metal, where the weld lines construct and describe the form. Mike exploits the malleable qualities of copper and aluminium so that the hammering and the conducted heat of the welding creates a patina of colour and texture onto the metal. This is sometimes enhanced by chemical patination and wax is applied to protect and enrich the surface. Mike’s other work ranges from small garden birds and fish, which can be bought individually or in groups to make a shoal or flock. He also designs and makes copper planters of all sizes, initially inspired by the hosta plants and poppy seed heads in his garden. His birdbaths, still water ponds and large bowls are simple forms designed to catch the rain. Mike’s work is represented in the Crafts Council Collection, and numerous private collections, both here and abroad. He teaches regularly at West Dean College including at the popular summer school in August.
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‘I like my work to be seen in a garden context from where it originates, and hope you enjoy the mix of materials I use in new ways. I like my work to reflect both stillness and joy; so that whether on a balmy summer evening or a dull winter’s day you can look at the work and smile.’ Philippa is a Wiltshire based artist drawing much of her inspiration from walks in the countryside or beachcombing. Found and natural objects, such as seedpods, and discarded pieces of old metal inspire her, as much as looking down the microscope on her iphone!. Recent work has combined elements of clay and metal, focussing on the minute repetitions and patterns found in nature, which lead to movement. Literally, the whole being more than the sum of their parts. Her work has been exhibited and sold in Garden Sculpture shows across the South, Southwest and Wales, and she is member of the Oxford Sculpture Group. In 2015 Philippa was shortlisted for the Friends of the Garden bursary award. Her piece ‘Large Spiral’ was first exhibited earlier this year at the shortlisted artists group show at Pound Arts.
‘As husband and wife we share our studio. This gives rise to a fairly unique situation where we create our own individual sculptures as well as collaborating to create pieces with a third distinct voice’. Much of Sally’s work starts with drawing, painting and photography of the observed world. Investigating the co-existence of the environment with human interventions she is particularly interested in spaces where the boundaries are indistinct. Selected 2D explorations are then brought together and translated into a 3D model to be realised in glass. The use of pure, clear optical glass defines the enclosed form Sally is expressing. The long process of grinding and polishing takes place until the finely balanced form combines with layers of deep surface texture and engraving to emerge as a finished piece. The whole process can take up to a year. Richard starts from a different point, thinking in 3D from the outset, with the form and its title developing simultaneously from the original idea. Once he has begun to model the piece, refinements and variations are explored by drawing. Richard uses the same casting process as Sally, with the same meticulous attention to detail and fine polishing. His final process requires a great deal of nerve too. Using a hand held diamond saw he carves in to the highly polished surfaces. The resulting, highly personal mark making is always dramatic and at times appears to defy the laws of gravity. ‘Singular Moment’ exhibited here illustrates this approach. Sally and Richard have received numerous awards for their work and their sculptures can be found in many public collections including the V&A, M.A.V.A., Madrid and National Museums of Scotland. They exhibit widely, most recently at ‘London Art Fair’ – London and ‘Modern Masters’ - Munich International Fair, Munich. They are in an exhibition titled ‘Reflection’ at Salisbury Cathedral later this year. They are both members of the Royal British Society of Sculptors.
‘My designs are curvaceous, charmingly simple, almost two dimensional, which probably reflects my training as a graphic designer and my strong beliefs in the ‘less is more’ approach, stripping things back to the bare bones.’ Born in Yorkshire Simon studied graphics and photography at Sheffield Polytechnic, moving to the south coast in the 90’s, where for many years he worked as a graphic designer and photographer. Using illustrative techniques learnt during his time as a designer, Simon designed sculptural concepts purely for pleasure, wanting something to enhance his own garden. It was one of Simon’s design clients form the art world that encouraged him to pursue his idea of turning concept into reality. Simon’s designs are crafted from sheet steel using the latest laser cutting technology, which allows him to create pieces with beautifully simple flowing curves. Pieces are left to oxidise naturally, a process that highlights the intrinsic beauty of the material as the finish alters with time. Some pieces like Simon’s cow parsley gently sway in wind. Simon has undertaken commissions for private gardens across the UK and internationally. He has exhibited widely including at Doddington Hall, Gilbert White’s House and Garden and Marks Hall in Essex.
‘A passion for form based sculpture that responds to aesthetics within nature, helped me understand that the stunningly beautiful yet often simple laws that nature follow, result in what could most closely be described as perfection within our environment. A simple ratio that I often apply to my designs is 1.681, known as PHI or the Fibonacci sequence, which is a simply beautiful mathematical principle seen everywhere in the natural environment and is synonymous with beauty, balance and perfection. My work is mostly abstract in nature and comment on what is recognisable throughout ‘the everyday’ with the intention of making their audience spend time contemplating ‘the recognised’ and ‘the obscure’. I hope that in creating this sensation more time will be taken to appreciate the surrounding environment of the object I have made.’ In 2005 Thomas graduated from the Norwich School of Art and has since set up his practice as a sculptor in Norwich. From his studio in the city he works mainly to commission, predominantly using metals such as bronze, stainless steel and copper. He undertakes private, corporate and public commissions both in the UK and internationally as well as attending select exhibitions in the UK. Thomas's sculptures are influenced by the styles and features of master sculptors such as Hepworth, Moore, Gabo and Arp and he uses this to his advantage as he strives to develop a strong identity for his own work. Now entering his 10th year as a practising sculptor, his sculptures have a strong contemporary style and identity that is being sought out internationally by designers and collectors. Having built up a diverse portfolio around large scale exterior sculptures, Thomas is now entering an exciting new period of experimentation, to explore and push the boundaries of his designs. Two of the works featured here, ‘Aurora’ and ‘Crescent’ are his first in this new direction.
‘In my work I aim to capture the subtle communicative properties of the human form, I like to exaggerate and play with the fluid lines of the organic form, unifying small fragments like numerous lines in a sketch to build up a tangible figure’ Tobias graduated from Hereford College of the Arts in 2014 Before graduating he exhibited work at Quenington where he also received the Netherton prize for the most promising student. He has now established his own workshop and practice in Suffolk, exhibiting work across the country. His approach to making sculpture is to adopt the pose of a character and to understand the feel, weight and strain that the pose entails and to then express that in the sculpture. Tobias’ process is painstaking and involves building a coherent form by welding many small fragments of metal piece by piece.
“The making of a mind surpasses the making of an object.” ‘My reinterpretation of this statement by American artist Jann Haworth informs the direction of my work. It is from making objects, involving a passion for varied materials and processes, that a previously unopened book covering philosophy, psychology, spirituality and human existence is informing my personal and professional development; the ‘making of my mind.’ Vivienne studied sculpture at The Art Academy, London SE1 where she obtained a first class diploma and was awarded the Wolfendale prize. This was followed by private commission work and the award of a collaborative commission for the Honourable Artillery Company London in 2013. Her work has been exhibited in several exhibitions in Southwark London, as well as Art at Ardington and The Bothy Vineyard (Oxfordshire Art Weeks), Art in Action Oxfordshire and KPMG City of London. The piece exhibited here is called ‘Enso, Reinterpreted’. Enso is a common symbol in Japanese calligraphy and in the Zen school of Buddhism. It can be either a closed or open circle and is usually two-dimensional. What appeals to Vivienne is its ability to mean nothing or everything, to be empty or full, present or absent. It represents the cyclical nature of existence. A remembered moment in time.
In addition we will feature the work of some of the artists from previous exhibitions in our pop-up shop.