In addition to our usual Best of the West listings, here’s our pick of places in the south west where you can enjoy great sculpture in beautiful outdoor surroundings..
by Laurel Smart and Sue Quirk
1) STONE LAND SCULPTURE GARDEN ‘THE MYTHIC GARDEN’, CHAGFORD DEVON – UNTIL 31 OCTOBER
Stone Lane Gardens is an enchanting 5-acre woodland gardens on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park, famous for a National Collection of Birch and Alder trees and the annual Mythic Garden sculpture exhibition. Among groves of trees, pools and streams, individual sculptures can be seen within their own natural ‘frames’. The gardens create a magical setting for the exhibition. The 2020 exhibition, suitably entitled “Re-awakening”, is a slightly smaller, more intimate gathering of artwork.
2) TREMENHEERE SCULPTURE GARDENS, PENZANCE – UNTIL 31 OCTOBER
Dramatic landscape and planting provide the backdrop to contemplative but inspirational artworks. More than twenty artists, including five members of the Royal Academy of Arts – James Turrell, Richard Long, David Nash, Peter Randall-Page and Tim Shaw – have interacted with the garden to create site-specific permanent works of art in Cornwall, that harmonise beautifully with the setting.The concept is to have a balance of artwork and planting within a beautiful landscape – allowing room for all elements to flourish with the idea in mind that the number of artworks is kept limited but of high quality and presence.
3. DEVON SCULPTURE PARK TERRY HOWE ‘LOOKING FOR CLUES’ & ENVIRONMENTAL ART TOURS, EXETER – UNTIL 31 DECEMBER
Contemporary and environmental art are found in the permanent collection in a rewilded park. This summer and autumn Terry Howe’s conceptual, environmental art exhibition outdoors and in the Sheds salon gallery is a playful yet insightful examination of the ‘found’ and ‘natural’ that surround us. A reminder of how small and fragile this planet is. He works with the spent, washed up and the discarded. The shoreline, car boot sales, skips and hedgerows are his main starting points for making. From there he takes off on imaginary space travel and what he keeps finding are spheres. No matter how much you zoom in or out, spheres are there (atomic, sub atomic, planets, galaxies).
https://devonsculpturepark.org/ (BOOKING REQUIRED)
4. SCULPTURE BY THE LAKES, DORCHESTER: TUES-SAT OCTOBER TO MARCH
Nestled in 26 acres of Dorset’s glorious countryside lies Sculpture by the Lakes, an oasis for art lovers and collectors alike created by renowned sculptor Simon Gudgeon. Simon’s vision was to create an environment for enthusiasts that blends nature’s beauty with inspiring works of art free from the constraints of enclosed spaces of a traditional gallery. The sculpture park has been carefully landscaped and curated to ensure each piece is positioned to enhance its aesthetic qualities as well as the visual surroundings.
https://www.sculpturebythelakes.co.uk/ (BOOKING REQUIRED)
5. BROOMHILL SCULPTURE GARDEN, BARNSTAPLE
The Broomhill Art & Sculpture Foundation gardens are open, tickets available to purchase online only. Tickets provide a specified 2 hour time-slot, and a total of only 40 tickets will be available per slot each day.The woodland garden – home to over 300 sculptures and crossed by the Bradiford River – covers more than 12 acres. Broomhill lies in one of the most glorious valleys in N.Devon, surrounded by hundreds of acres of woodland and bound by its own stream. Established in 1997 by Dutch couple Rinus and Aniet van de Sande, and over the years organically grown into one of the largest permanent collections of contemporary sculpture in the south west of England.
http://www.broomhillart.co.uk/sculpturegardens/ (BOOKING REQUIRED)
6. BARBARA HEPWORTH MUSEUM AND SCULPTURE GARDEN, ST IVES
Barbara Hepworth first came to live in Cornwall with her husband Ben Nicholson and their young family at the outbreak of war in 1939. Hepworth was a leading British sculptor of the mid-twentieth century, and her work was extraordinarily important in forging new ground in British art. Most of the bronzes are in the positions in which the artist herself placed them. The garden itself was laid out by Barbara Hepworth with help from a friend, the composer Priaulx Rainier. Most of the bronzes are in the positions in which the artist herself placed them. The garden itself was laid out by Barbara Hepworth with help from a friend, the composer Priaulx Rainier.She lived and worked in Trewyn studios, now the Hepworth Museum, from 1949 until her death in 1975.