Galleries - May 2014

They are also peripatetic, organising exhibitions in different Wiltshire gardens each summer. This year it is West Lavington where 20 artists have been invited to show in a 5acre walled Italianate garden first established in the 17th C. and replete with a trout stream and outstanding specimen trees. Again the artists, both young and more established, are thoughtfully and imaginatively chosen as working across materials and styles (but please note this show is not open until 5-22 June). The Garden Gallery , just over the Hampshire county border in Stockbridge, takes a different line again. A commercial enterprise established 19 years ago and representing 50 sculptors, potters and makers, they are accompanying this year’s regular show with a special exhibition, entitled ‘Echoes in the Memory’ and inspired by T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets and the remembrance and commemoration of the First World War – how we cherish memories of the past and the stories which make our histories. Again a distinguished range of artists with a number drawn from the ranks of the Royal Society of British Artists. Diane Coates and Andrew Sinclair have a passion for figurative sculpture which they have felt to be so badly taught in British art schools that they decided to run The Sculpture School from their Wendover base teaching its range of necessary skills via a mix of weekends and summer schools. They were also spotted by Hatfield House and given the envious task of curating this year’s displays in its magnificent gardens – 70 pieces by some of Britain’s best figurative sculptors in The Great British Sculpture Show . Meanwhile back in London American-born, British-based sculptor Josie Spencer, who has enjoyed huge critical and commercial success with her dynamic Classical-archaeology inspired figures, has been invited to show a body of her work in Golden Square from May to October. Modelling in clay, breaking them apart and then casting them in bronze she achieves a remarkable synthesis of the ancient and the modern. Finally, indoors, where, paradoxically he mostly isn’t, Peter Randall-Page has a show of ‘Drawings, prints and sculpture on a domestic scale’ at Honiton’s excellent public gallery space the Thelma Hulbert Gallery (from 10 May). Devon- based himself, Randall-Page chose this space as providing the ideal platform for showing this important new exhibition, one which explores in depth the crucial role drawing has always played in his artistic practice, even down to the fact that he often draws directly on to the surface of the stone before carving. Lyrical and ecstatic, bursting with inner life, this is a show to travel many miles for. NU siting! From this spring a superb new James Turrell – a large oval skyspace – to add to his Aqua Oscura water tank and a just installed Minotaur from locally based RA Tim Shaw, a darkly massive presence glowering out from its woodland hideaway. There’s also a new-ish Richard Long ‘growing’ piece to go with a massive David Nash, two poetic Kishio Sugas and, as the place’s astonishing vision and potential become better known, exciting plans for the future. There are, meanwhile, a number of other handsome gardens with sculpture initiatives dotted around the country this spring. Borde Hill in Hayward’s Heath for example, where, through to September, 14 artists are contributing 40 pieces of work in a wonderful listed Late Victorian garden setting of recognised botanical significance. It’s an eclectic but imaginatively chosen group that mixes figurative and abstract work, youthful in character and employing a wide range of materials, from stone to driftwood. Friends of the Garden comes at the garden/sculpture idea rather the other way round, consisting of a group of volunteers (based in Wiltshire) with a passion for gardening and the understanding that introducing sculpture into the garden can completely change the way we see both nature and art – shades of Tremenheere! MAY 2014 GALLERIES 13 from left: P eter Randall-Page ‘Honeysuckle I’ at Thelma Hulbert Gallery. Stephen Beardsell ‘Seed of Time I’ at Friends of the Garden. Tim Shaw ‘Minotaur’ at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens Colin Reid, ‘Ring of Aqua’ cast blue & clear glass at The Garden Gallery