I’ve discovered a slice of heaven. If, like me, you enjoy contemporary sculpture and could happily wander around a sunny garden hour after hour, then you need to visit the sculpture exhibition in the gardens at Doddington Hall, Lincolnshire. It’s the third time this biennial sculpture exhibition has taken place, curated by David Waghorne the director of Sculpture Events Ltd. The exhibition features work by over 75 leading sculptors from around the world; showcasing a dazzling 450 original pieces displayed both in the gardens as well as in the new indoor Granary Barn. From the small to the monolithic, a vast array of styles and mediums are displayed, and I just had to see them all!
This year’s main featured artist is Rebecca Newham a sculptor and designer from Southbourne in Bournemouth. She works in a wide array of materials, but the pieces which caught my eye in particular were her glass and fibreglass lotus flowers. Poised, pride of place, in the walled West Garden were Rebecca’s Blue Lotus sculptures forming the centre of two tranquil water features. The small glass tiles of these sculptures shimmer like jewels in the sunlight. I was delighted to chance upon White Lotus as I strolled into a hidden corner of the Wild Garden. Engulfed in dense foliage, White Lotus appeared to glow amongst the leaves in shades of green and brown.
Award winning sculptor Paul Vanstone has shown his work at many of the major museums and galleries of the UK, including The British Museum and The V&A. The Indian rainforest marble carved to create Paul’s Indian Torso is just exquisite. The rich colours of the polished rock combined with the veins of minerals running through the marble really bring the form to life. Approaching the Avenue Walk you are presented with the arresting sight of Paul’s immense piece Portuguese Heads, carved from a creamy grey Portuguese marble, perfectly positioned to gaze across this idyllic Lincolnshire countryside.
In the work of Carole Andrews plant and sea life is enlarged and augmented, dominating the viewer, as if the human were the one under the microscope. Carole uses techniques from origami and embroidery and applies them to unconventional materials such as roofing felt in order to create her organic forms. Inspired by the papery bells of Chinese lantern plants, Blue Franchettii 2 appears as though it’s alien-like seed pod is about to burst at the seams. And the hypnotic form of Red Villosa, conceived by a carnivorous tropical plant, looks as though it might swallow an unsuspecting bystander whole!
David Watkinson is driven in his work by the unseen forces that shape our world. His sculptures endeavour to point towards the relationship between the laws of physics and all life on Earth. In David’s kinetic sculptures featured in Doddington’s Wild Garden he pays homage to the evolution of the seed, how they have adapted to be carried by the wind, and in turn create new life and new beginnings. Cast in steel, the seeds are delicately balanced on precision bearings, allowing small air currents to gently twirl the sculptures around. This motion, combined with the sound of the breeze and the light glinting off the seeds is quite mesmerising!
A catalogue is available to buy upon arrival should you wish to know the names of all the exhibiting sculptors, their chosen material and the price if available for purchasing. The exhibition is open daily until Sunday 11 September, do check their website below for opening times and admission charges.