Thursday, 29 June 2017

Sculptures to adorn Tudor mansion's 'outdoor rooms'

Sculptures to adorn Tudor mansion's 'outdoor rooms'

IT’S about this time of year that the gardens at Greys Court in Rotherfield Greys come abloom with their magnificent roses, writes Joanna McGinn.

The floral display promises to provide the perfect backdrop to the National Trust property’s first sculpture exhibition courtesy of the Oxford Sculptors Group, which opens tomorrow (Saturday).

Running until Sunday, June 25, the show will see visitors encouraged to explore the gardens “like a series of outdoor rooms” to discover more than 100 sculptures by 26 different artists.

Works will be dotted about the walled kitchen gardens, hidden among peonies and flowering vines, as well as inside in the White Garden loggia and the recently restored Tudor Cromwellian building.

Lucky visitors might even catch a glimpse of the artists at work, with a series of hands-on demonstrations including stone carving and clay modelling.

We’re promised there will be something for everyone — from unabashedly abstract works in metal and steel to delicate figurative flora- and fauna-themed ceramics.

All the work on show will be for sale. Prices start at £30 and run into the thousands.

Greys Court volunteer John Nicholls is among the sculptors whose work — in his case stone carvings — will be on display.

He said: “The exhibition is designed to have a wide appeal, with pieces small enough for a bookshelf to large enough for a garden — and a slice of the proceeds will go to the National Trust.”

The Oxford Sculptors Group is made up of artists from in and around Oxfordshire — including
self-taught and professional sculptors.

Local names not to be missed include Steve Woodbridge’s steel pieces, Kay Singla’s award-winning work in clay and bronze, and Daren Greenhow’s sculptures made with everyday objects such as bicycle parts and kitchen utensils.

Greys Court head gardener Adam Ford said: “Our gardens here are glorious in June and are one of our main attractions. To include a sculpture show within them adds an extra dimension and we are looking forward to seeing them in this exciting new role.”

John Penrose of the Oxford Sculptors Group added: “This is the first time we have exhibited at Greys Court, which lends itself so well to sculpture. The beautiful gardens are like a series of outdoor rooms and will set off our artists’ work very well — and we hope in turn that our sculptures will add to the enjoyment of visitors.”

Entry to the exhibition is free with admission to Greys Court (included in National Trust membership). Opening times are 10am to 5pm daily, with last entry at 4.30pm.

For more information, visit www.oxfordsculptors.org/
greys-court and www.nationaltrust.org.uk/
greys-court

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