Events and Exhibitions: this year

Delamore’s annual sculpture and art exhibition is one of the high-points of my year, and this year’s exhibition is as good as any they’ve ever done. In a wonderful country house and garden tucked under the edge of Dartmoor, they attract leading sculptors and artists from all over the country, and the work seen is different every year. It is worth making a special trip to visit. Open for the whole of May.

A selection of my work at Delamore this year:

My colleague David Gisby’s magnificent sycamore leaf, also to be seen at Delamore this year.

Herstmonceux Castle – new venue for 2022!

Many people know Herstmonceux in Sussex as the site the Royal Greenwich Observatory removed to, when Greenwich was becoming light- and smog-polluted in the 1950s, and which is still open for educational visits and as a science centre. However, the observatory buildings were simply taking advantage of spare space within the extensive estate of Herstmonceux castle.

I was invited to contribute some sculptural interest to the very extensive gardens, and what an opportunity it presents. It is a dramatic setting, with varied garden spaces, plus the impressive moat.

These are only a sample of the sculptures – the grounds are huge, and imaginatively laid out. A clump of my giant foxgloves stand in the magic garden, where acers paint the very air; my swan and nest are found in a secluded spot against the bank of the moat; I have a large single-stem rose in the sundial garden, and lilies and tulips in the long herbaceous borders of the Elizabethan garden. I love the tension in the relationship between the hares and the watching greyhound. I look forward to adjusting the displays during the year, as the garden’s own plants grow up.

Godinton: Sculpture in the Garden 2022

The Godinton House and Gardens sculpture exhibition: thirteen acres of mature gardens make a superb backdrop for sculpture, mostly by local artists.

Above, my piggy family rummage in the walled garden; nearby, a selection of dahlias, and elsewhere there are an iris screen, two sizes of decorative bird-feeders, and a water-lily bird-bath. It is a lovely garden for a quiet stroll, imagining the life-style which would have enjoyed this privileged existence in years gone by.

Godinton House

Several of those sculptures are now sold, but I can make more – very similar, though never quite identical – if you take a shine to one.

Pashley Manor

Open every day from 1st April through to 30th September.

During the season they have a superb cafeteria for light lunches and afternoon teas, and if you don’t know these gardens you really should plan a visit. The gardens, on the Kent-Sussex border, are open from Easter through to the end of September, but are at their most impressive during the tulip festival, starting at Easter. Check here for details.

tulip sculptures
water-lily bird-bath sculpture

My water-lily bird-baths are proving very popular this year.

I’m delighted to continue to be one of the featured artists at Lucy Quinnell’s gallery. There is some fabulous work here: ranging from traditional blacksmith’s functional items to ‘pure art’ sculpture. If you don’t already know of it, do visit the gallery. Allow plenty of time to marvel at (in order, below) Tim Cotterill’s brilliant bronze frogs, Joanne Tinker’s incredible miniatures, Mick Maxen’s exquisite welded textures, and a good selection of my own insects, animals and flowers, amongst a myriad of others. Just off junction 9 of the M25, KT22 0EN.

Lucy has created an online shop which is well worth a visit. There is a link to it HERE.

Margate is undergoing an art-led revival, with the Turner Contemporary in the Harbour, and new art shops and galleries in the Old Town. In Cliftonville, once the genteel end of town with the grander hotels and seaside boarding-houses but now very Bohemian in character, is Lovely’s Art Gallery and Artist’s Materials. Founded in 1891 (so just 40 years too late to supply JMW with his canvas, oils or water-colours) and now in the fourth generation, this family business is an Aladdin’s Cave of art. Some is very modern; some of it amusing, but all imaginative and original. I have twice held solo exhibitions in their upstairs Art Space, and I am frequently surprised by their requests for front-window display work.

Sussex Prairie Gardens

These gardens are open for high and late summer, 2nd June to mid-October. The unusual layout of the Prairie Garden on a level site with a spiral of lawns and beds of grasses makes a fine, thoughtful place to stroll around, notice plants, and discuss sculpture. Their friendly tea-room has an excellent range of home-made cakes and light snacks. Dog-friendly, and if you bring a Basset you get free entry! Postcode: BN5 9AT.