Galleries - August 2015

be precise, is The Sculpture Park , set in classic Surrey woodlands, with a superbly landscaped arboretum and water garden. There are some 250 plus sculptures in the open air here (and many more indoors), and all for sale. It bills itself as the “world’s largest all year sculpture exhibition” and I can believe it. The outdoors part of the place is organised as a sculpture trail – some two miles longand spread over 10 acres. The quality overall is really good and nicely mixed in terms of materials – stone, metal, glass and wood – and styles figurative across to abstraction. Finally some sculpture indoors but in no less spectacular settings, and the welcome news that the wonderful displays of Brazilian born, British based Ana Maria Pacheco, which opened in March (in association with Pratt Contemporary) are to be extended until the end of September across Norwich’s two cathedrals and Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery . ‘The Shadow of the Wanderer’ in the North Transept of Norwich Cathedral is the spectacular set piece, but the two heads of St John The Baptist in the Catholic Cathedral dedicated to him, are visceral in their directness. With Francis Bacon drawingthe crowds at the University’s Sainsbury Centre, Norwich is a hotspot. NU Outside Sculpture Open studios may be one of summer’s particular pleasures but a visit to a beautifully run sculpture park, particularly when they are as stunning as the three I have in mind here, is certainly right up there. And like the open studios, they seem to be changing character radically over the years with the park/garden/ landscape element in their make up becoming an increasingly significant factor. Take the quite superb Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, down on the Penwith peninsular in West Cornwall, which has been developed out of an old estate tracing its history back to medieval times. It uses its unique geographical location, a steep, sheltered, tree-lined, valley looking out over Mount’s Bay to provide the sculpture with a setting of an extraordinarily rich and exotic flora – tree-ferns et al. And what sculpture. Founder Neil Armstrong (a local Penzance GP) is not only a passionate plantsman but a serious student of the visual arts and he has slowly introduced a quite stellar international cast of exhibitors to this landscape, most notably the great James Turrell, the second of whose works there, a massive sky chamber ‘Tewlwolow Kernow’ opened in the spring. If you don’t yet know his work, this is a great place to start (currently also showing at Houghton House in Norfolk) – simply and transcendentally beautiful, you could well end up staying all day! Which would be pity as there are other, almost as notable wonders close by – Richard Long, David Nash, Tim Shaw and Kishio Suga among them. Practically at the other end of the country, is Caol Ruadh Sculpture Park, an estate tucked away on the Kyles of Bute on a very secret stretch of the Argyll coast. Two ex-designers, with backgrounds in landscape architecture and theatre, Karen Scotland (whose home it is) and Anne Edmonds, decided a few years back to pool their skills and create a park to promote and sell contemporary sculpture created in Scotland. Their innate eye and high professionalism is really telling here; the garden, surrounded by sea from nearly every angle, makes a fitting and beautiful stage for works by sculptors as intelligent and gifted as Ian Cook, Lesley Carruthers, Andrea Geile and Lorna Fraser among many others. Back down to the Home Counties, Farnham in Surrey to SCULPTURE . . . the garden surrounded by the sea from nearly every angle . . . 14 GALLERIES AUGUST 2015 from left: J ames Turrell ‘Skyspace’, at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens Lorna Fraser ‘Still’, at Caol Ruadh Sculpture Park