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Heart, head and hands - a look beneath the surface

Geology tours will explore the natural origins of sculptures

Issued on 07 July 2010

The sculptures from the exhibition ‘Heart, Head and Hands’ at the University of Leicester Botanic Garden in Oadby are an artistic spectacle, but look a little closer and there are other stories to be told.

Some of these stories will unfold in a programme of tours round the sculpture exhibition and the garden over the summer months.

Geology tours will reveal the mysteries of rocks formed in warm shallow seas teeming with life or in the dark deep ocean; of rocks caught up between colliding continents and squeezed and cooked; of rocks crystallised in the searing heat of a magma chamber.

In this evening walk staff from the University of Leicester Department of Geology will lead a mini-field trip explaining what the rocks are that sculptors chose to work on and how they formed.

It is not just the rocks, but the other materials in the sculptures that will be explored and explained – bronzes, steel and even plastics. These are also derived from rocks and an understanding of the materials used will enhance appreciation of the sculptures themselves.

“Tours will be adapted to suit the interest and backgrounds of participants – all that is required is an enquiring mind,” said Stella Couloutbanis, visual Arts Manager at Embrace Arts, the University of Leicester’s Arts Centre.

Geology Tours of ‘Heart, Head and Hands’ will run on Wednesday 14 July and Wednesday 28 July from 6.00pm - 8.00pm. The cost will be £3 per person

Other tours of the sculptures in the Garden will be run by Friends of the Botanic Garden (cost £3 per person).

Two Family Days at the Botanic Garden, on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 September, from 10.30am - 3.30pm, will give children the opportunity to make their own sculptures out of willow and tissue paper, working with artist Rachel Carter. Cost is £2.50 per child, sessions are hourly (with a break for lunch) and bookings should be made through Embrace Arts, tel 0116 252 2455, or visit the website www.embracearts.co.uk.

‘Heart Head and Hands’, which will run until 19th September, is the University of Leicester’s ninth Sculpture in the Garden exhibition. Except for special Botanic Garden Open Days (see the website www.le.ac.uk/botanicgarden for details), it is free to look round and features sculptures from artists of national and international renown. This year’s exhibition has been curated by Dr John Sydney Carter.

‘Heart Head and Hands’ sees the magnificent surroundings of the Botanic Garden transformed into a living, tactile and visual environment where visitors can experience some exceptionally innovative and high-quality sculptural interpretations within an inspirational outdoor setting.

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.

Pre-booking is required for all tours and workshops. For further information and to make a booking please contact the University of Leicester Botanic Garden, tel 0116 271 2933, email: botanicgarden@le.ac.uk

Notes to Editors: Further details are available from Dr Richard Gornall at the University of Leicester Botanic Garden, tel 0116 271 2933, email: botanicgarden@le.ac.uk

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