This sculpture exhibition was to have been the Friends fifth and final visit of the year, but due to restrictions imposed by Covid -19, this has been the only visit which is able to take place. Because things are happening differently this year, we have not been able to travel together in a coach, or car share, but we are going independently. I visited yesterday, and wanted to encourage everyone who can do so to visit this very special exhibition in the fabulous garden at West Leaze where the 1969 exhibition took place.
Their website gives this introduction:
'This year our exhibition, ‘Sculpture in a Landscape 1969 – 2020’, has
a rather different focus from our previous shows. In 1969 the same
property was one of the first private gardens in the country to be used
for showing contemporary sculpture. That exhibition was organised by
sculptor Roger Leigh and his wife Pat. It featured 18 sculptors many of
them with reputations that survive to this day. They included Hubert
Dalwood, Denis Mitchell, Henry Moore, William Pye and Austin Wright. The
Wiltshire archives hold many of the papers about this exhibition and
visitors to the exhibition will be able to get an insight into that
event. Work by several of the 1969 artists will also be on show.'
Yesterday was a glorious day to visit, the sun shone properly for the first day in a while, and everything was seen at its best, although not all photographs turned out well, so what follows is a mixture of what photographed well, and things I loved. The sculptures were set out on a slope dipping away from the house in uncut grass with paths mown through, making it perfect for wildlife and chalkland flowers. The sheep in the first photograph look very realistic, and looked fabulous beside the beautiful conifer, they are by Jon Barrett-Danes and are resident in the landscape, they were missing lambs and a dog which have now been installed. Included in the entry fee of £7.50 is a magnificent catalogue giving an excellent summary of each sculptor taking part. If you have visited once, you can return to the exhibition provided you bring new visitors with you, well arrive at the same time.
This installation of five pieces 'Occelli' is made of copper and glass by Peter M Clarke
are really reminiscent of .seed heads.
I suddenly saw scabious flowers
and harebells among the grass
And then noticed one of Sara Ingleby-Mackenzie's wonderful creations, 'Uptown Girl' beside the summerhouse. I first encountered her work at Urchfont Manor in 2018. Sara has been creating unique sculpture since 1982. More on her website
Everything at West Leaze has been carefully orchestrated, in the nicest possible way, and this includes things like this delightful planter in front of the summerhouse
The physicality of this work, 'Themis' by Tobias Ford
made from welded steel which has been rusted and cured is magnificent.
And now I'm including photos of another two pieces by Peter M Clarke. He says: 'The essence of nature-the patterns, shapes and textures to be found on leaves, bark or seed - provide the inspiration behind the creation of my metal sculptures'
Above 'Pynaceae'. copper on wooden plinth, and below 'Copper Leaf'
Tim then drew my attention to the bark on a nearby tree:
This 'Murmuration' by Diana Barraclough
worked really well.
Below Dominic Clare
's 'Succession 2020' in western red cedar is an impressive piece. The wood has been shot blasted and burnt exposing the grain by blowing away the soft summer growth. When looking at it, we spoke to someone who has visited his workshop.
We were by now walking uphill, and towards the pond which gave us more entertainment, we stayed for at least 15 minutes watching dragon flies chasing each other around, and water boatmen ducking and diving in the crystal clear water.
I asked permission to photograph this woman posing beside John O'Connor's 'Spring' sculpture.Matt Maddocks
' sculptures on the grass, in the sun looked great, this one is 'Creation' grey granite mirror polished
and this is 'Aurora' in grey granite
Below this is titled 'Dreams Remembered' by Lucy Lutyens
This was a lovely sitting area to one side of the house where pieces by Jane Muir
were displayed, I liked the artichoke so much I bought a small one in the shop. It looks lovely in the garden, and a great reminder of the visit.
This piece by Peter Hayes
right in front of the house was fantastic. I really admired his pieces in the exhibition at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery. There must be a record of it in this blog somewhere.
I'll include another of Sara Ingleby-Mackenzie's girls in long high heeled boots.
The signboards were designed by Mollie Gratland and were fascinating.
I have included a letter from Desmond Morris above, there's information about West Leaze below, and Jimmy Bomford also attended the private view of the 1969 exhibition.
Thank you to everyone who made this such a special exhibition, with special thanks to Lesley Andrews who curated the exhibition. Please spread the word about it.
Tickets are available on the website and must be bought in advance, the exhibition continues until 27 September, and is open every day but Monday and Tuesday.