'Degas Dancing' (2002) in bronze, by John W Mills PPRBS ARCA FRSA.
Landscape and sculpture
International exhibition opens at University Botanic Garden special event
Issued on 23 June 2010
PHOTOCALL: There will be a press photo opportunity on Saturday 26th June, 11.30am-1.30pm in the Wedgwood Room, Beaumont Hall, Stoughton Drive South, Oadby, Leicester LE2 2NA. The exhibition will be formally opened on 26th June by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, Professor Sir Robert Burgess. Participants in the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Martin Music Scholarship Fund will be playing for the occasion.
Click here to view a gallery of images from the exhibition. Images of the sculptures are available from firstname.lastname@example.org
Sculpture from around the world is already springing up in the idyllic setting of the University of Leicester’s Botanic Garden, in readiness for the ninth annual Sculpture in the Garden Exhibition, this year entitled ‘Heart, Head and Hands’.
The exhibition, which opens to the public on Sunday 27th June amid the gala atmosphere of the annual Botanic Garden Plant Sale and Family Day, features 63 sculptures by 41 sculptors from as far afield as the US, Iceland, Germany and Italy, as well as works by local and regional sculptors.
As in the past, the exhibition is well supported by the highly prestigious Royal British Society of Sculptors.
Curator of the exhibition, John Sydney Carter explained the meaning of the title, ‘Heart, Head and Hands’: “Sculptors create with their heart, they plan with their head and they work with their hands.
“’Heart, Head and Hands’ is also a means by which members of the public who come to view the works of sculpture can make their own assessments of what is most apparent to them.”
The collection is diverse, ranging from works of stone, steel or aluminium by sculptors of the calibre of Terence Coventry; Ralph Brown, RA; John W Mills, PPRBS, ARCA, FRSA; Jacek Wankowski, FRBS; Richard Baronio; Charlotte Mayer, FRBS; Dr Helaine Blumenfeld, FRBS; Bilhenry Walker and John Sydney Carter, FRBS, to Claudia Borgna’s flamboyant installation created with the use of white carrier bags.
Among the stars of the show is the garden itself, as John Sydney Carter explained: “It fascinates me that people come here to draw, that the garden inspires art. People come here year after year to see the sculptures. Even while we’re putting them in place people are fascinated to watch.
“The garden is a perfect place for sculpture. We bring man-made art into the landscape. Many of these pieces are an extension of the landscape. For instance, Irene Rogan’s ‘Primordium’ has been created specially for this outdoor space, and the way the light shines through the poles and the fact that you can walk into it is something you only get in a landscape setting.”
The University’s Botanic Garden is one of the most diverse gardens in the region. Established on its present site in Oadby in 1947. It comprises the grounds of four early 20th century houses now used as student residences.
The four once-separate gardens have been merged into 16 acres of cultivated grounds and greenhouses, displaying formal planting around a restored Edwardian garden, an arboretum, a herb garden, woodland and herbaceous borders, rock gardens, a water garden, the National Collections of Skimmia, Aubrieta, hardy Fuchsia and Lawson's Cypress, and a series of glasshouses displaying temperate and tropical plants, alpines and succulents.
This variety in the landscape is something that has influenced John Sydney Carter’s arrangement of the sculptures. “All areas of the garden are quite different and the different areas of the garden offer surprises. The pool seemed to ask to be used for Claudia’s installation. The big flat areas have the grander pieces and the smaller areas round the trees are like secret, magical areas.
“I try to tell a story. As people walk in there are some grand pieces, then a secret, magical area round the trees. The pool is different again and then people arrive at the big open spaces where the larger-scale pieces are.”
Diane MacLean, FRBS, whose work, ‘Stranded Head’ is one of those greeting visitors towards the start of the exhibition, commented: “I think it’s worked wonderfully well. John has placed each piece to give it the position that’s relevant to it and given each piece space so that you see one and then another, not crowded together.
“He and all the staff in the gardens have done a great job, setting everything out immaculately and providing the right kind of help.”
Over its nine year history the Sculpture in the Garden exhibitions have become quite competitive among sculptors and this year there were more than 70 applications, of which 41 were accepted.
Others are invited, and it was a meeting at the Miami Basel Art Fair earlier this year where John Sydney Carter met US sculptor Bilhenry Walker and encouraged him to exhibit one of his works in the ‘Heart, Head and Hands’ exhibition. ‘Synaptic Sinew V’ was sent over in pieces and Walker flew over to assemble it in situ.
The Pangolin foundry and gallery, which handles work for most of the major big names in the UK sculpture world, has supported Sculpture in the Garden for the past four years and this year has loaned ‘Heart, Head and Hands’ four sculptures, by Ralph Brown, Terence Coventry and Charlotte Mayer.
Special open days at the Garden are highly popular and the Plant Sale and Family Day on 27th June will include a large plant sale featuring a wide range of specialist nurseries, musical entertainments, displays from local natural history societies, arts and crafts stalls, children’s entertainment and refreshments.
‘Heart, Head and Hands’ opens to the public on Sunday 27th June at the University of Leicester Botanic Garden, Glebe Road, Oadby. Though normally free at other times, an entry charge of £3.50 per adult (children are free) will apply for entry to the Botanic Garden on this day.
The sculpture exhibition will run until Sunday 19th September, and after the 27th June the garden will be open free of charge, except for other special open days (see the website www.le.ac.uk/botanicgarden for details).
Normal Botanic Garden opening times are 10am-4pm Monday-Friday all year (except for the Christmas-New Year period) and on Saturday and Sunday from the third weekend in March to the second weekend in November. The entrance to the Garden is in Glebe Road, Oadby.
Click here to download the brochure for the exhibition.
Notes to Editors: The exhibition ‘Heart, Head and Hands’ will open to the public on Sunday 27th June.
There will be a press photo opportunity on Saturday 26th June, 11.30am-1.30pm in the Wedgwood Room, Beaumont Hall. The exhibition will be formally opened on 26th June by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, Professor Sir Robert Burgess. Participants in the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Martin Music Scholarship Fund will be playing for the occasion.
Click here to view a gallery of images from the exhibition.
For more information please contact:
Dr John Sydney Carter, Curator, tel 01858 545642, email email@example.com
Stella Couloutbanis, Visual Arts Manager, Embrace Arts, RA centre, University of Leicester, email firstname.lastname@example.org, tel 0116 223 1529
Dr John Sydney Carter, FRBS - Curator
The University of Leicester’s £22.5m Henry Wellcome Building is the home for two major sculptures by the national sculptor John Sydney Carter, FRBS. Standing 18ft high, Vortex is one of the sculptor’s first pieces of public sculpture on a large scale. The same building also houses Atomica, a 30ft high sculpture of welded stainless steel, commissioned by Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester Professor Sir Robert Burgess in 2004.
The same week that the ‘Heart, Head and Hands’ exhibition opens, another major work by John Sydney Carter will be installed in front of the De Montfort Hall in Leicester. The sculpture, called ‘Concerto’, was commissioned by the Friends of New Walk, Leicester.