Thursday, 23 September 2021

Henley’s very own mini sculpture park opens to the public

IT’S not often that the hoi polloi manage to dodge their way into Phyllis Court, writes Lesley Potter, but in

IT’S not often that the hoi polloi manage to dodge their way into Phyllis Court, writes Lesley Potter, but in the next two weeks the private club is opening its doors to members of the general public who wish to view a sculpture exhibition in its grounds.

The lawns running down to the Thames are currently bedecked with 65 works by artists from the Oxford Sculptors Group.

The 70-strong group are mostly full or part time professionals who sell their work in this country and abroad. Most are based in and around Oxfordshire, working from their own studios, and exhibiting as a group at venues such as Phyllis Court and, recently, at the Circle hospital in Reading.

The sculptures range from large and dramatic pieces set out on the lawns, to 30 or so smaller works displayed inside the clubhouse. The artists’ creativity can be seen in such works as Rachel Ducker’s wire figures with their wild hair, a huge wire mesh tiger, and the intriguing abstract family figures from Lilly Henry to a range of animals, dogs, a great turtle, horses, a pelican and a soaring owl.

Dancers are another theme such as Arabesque Sur L’Air, which catches the magic of the ballet. There are stone carvings, ceramic pieces and other works in cold cast bronze, or bronze resin (which looks like bronze but is a third of the cost). The pieces are on sale from £200 upwards.

The exhibition opened on July 11 and continues to July 28, and entry is free — just collect the catalogue from the reception desk, and wander round. All works are for sale, and the commission will be supporting the Phyllis Court Foundation.

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