The Friends of the Garden exhibition, ‘Sculpture in a Landscape 1969-2020’ opened at West Leaze near Aldbourne on September 3. The exhibition is a celebration of contemporary sculpture set in beautiful gardens.
The Friends of the Garden is an unincorporated voluntary organisation managed by a network of volunteers all of whom share a love of contemporary sculpture.
Since 1969 the organisation has collaborated with generous garden owners to hold six exhibitions – at Urchfont Manor in 2007, 2009, 2018; at Avebury Manor in 2009 and at West Lavington Manor in 2014 and 2016.
In 1969 West Leaze 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. They included Hubert Dalwood, Denis Mitchell, Henry Moore, William Pye and Austin Wright. Work by several of those 1969 artists is on show in this year’s exhibition along with over fifty others from all over the country.
Lesley Andrews from The Friends of the Garden and curator of the exhibition said, “By allowing us to stage exhibitions in wonderful garden settings thousands of visitors have been able to see, touch and respond to sculpture in a way that is only possible outside the confined space of a gallery. Our 2020 exhibition is our last and is a very special retrospective.
Almost all of the sculptors taking part have shown with us at one of our previous exhibitions. We are delighted to also feature the work of a small number of recent graduates who are showing work in an exhibition for the first time.”
There has been an overwhelming positive response from visitors to the exhibition. Karen Gardner from BBC Radio Wiltshire said, “This is an outstanding and significant exhibition in a stunning setting. With over one hundred exhibits, it is a very unusual, exciting and all-encompassing opportunity to see established and new talent, side by side. It has been curated with considerable imagination and understanding of the impact and power of each piece.”
Amanda Lowther, from Partner British Art Portfolio, commented, “You have a very interesting combination of artists, including some international names and showing a good range of extremely high class sculpture. Artists are drawn from all over the country using a wide variety of mediums and there really is something for everybody.”
‘Sculpture in a Landscape’ takes place at West Leaze, Ogbourne Road, Aldbourne SN8 2LD from 3 – 27 September. The exhibition is open every day except Mondays and Tuesdays from 11am – 6pm. Entry is £7.50 per adult including a catalogue, accompanied under 18’s free. There is a popup café serving light refreshments, a popup shop and summer house gallery with smaller items.
Please note that in order to manage visitor numbers tickets must be pre booked on line here where you will also find further details.