For the eighth year of its highly successful annual outdoor sculpture show, the University of Leicester
is celebrating British sculpture in its exquisitely landscaped Harold Martin Botanic Garden.
A Celebration of British Sculpture includes 50 works of art in varying media, scale and design, much of it by artists of international acclaim.
Among the highlights of the show will be two works of welded stainless steel by one of the giants of 20th century sculpture, the late Lynn Chadwick Rising Beast and Duttans Beast. Chadwick was one of the twelve semi-finalists for the Unknown Political Prisoner International Sculpture Competition in 1953 and three years later won the International Prize for Sculpture at the 1956 Venice Biennale. His work is represented in all major international art collections and was featured in a retrospective exhibition of his work at Tate Britain in London, in 2003, the year he died.
The exhibition also includes bronzes, Dove and Longdog by Jon Buck, Sea Circle by Charlotte Mayer, and Clochard and Vernal Figure by Ralph Brown, all of whom are widely exhibited in the UK and internationally in both public and private collections.
Another attraction will be the Yoruba-inspired steel and water feature, Asoebi Lace, Sweat and Tears, by Sokari Douglas Camp, CBE, who has been shortlisted for the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square. Asoebi was created as a water feature for the Garden for Africa at the British Museum in collaboration with Ground Force 2005.
Curator of A Celebration of British Sculpture is John Sydney Carter. He is, himself, an internationally acclaimed sculptor and Honorary Graduate of the University of Leicester. Four of his painted steel sculptures are exhibited in the show: Great Circle, Navigator, Falling Man and Le Poisson.
He commented: There is a great power in sculpture, particularly when placed adjacent to contemporary architecture or in a public place. It enhances and, in some ways, makes a place complete.
The Harold Martin Botanic Garden is a special place, because here we can live with both art and nature, each complementing the other. Viewing artwork outdoors is different to the often confined space of an art gallery. The large green spaces, rockeries, trees, flower beds and pool area all provide unique environments to excite both sculptor and the visitor.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bob Burgess, commented: This is the eighth year of the Universitys Sculpture Show and this years exhibition offers a wide variety of exhibits by a number of distinguished artists. The Harold Martin Botanic Garden provides the artists with a creative and inspiring environment in which to work and I am delighted to welcome Dr John Sydney Carter, FRBS (Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors) in his role as Exhibition Curator for the first time. I am confident that this years exhibition will provide many hours of enjoyment and the opportunity to engage with a range of diverse sculpture in Leicesters well tended Botanic garden.
Stella Couloutbanis, Acting Visual Arts Manager at the Universitys Richard Attenborough Centre, added: The Celebration of British Sculpture has something for everyone. It mixes the traditional with the innovative, right across the span of sculpture and includes site specific work. Theres a great mixture of styles and materials its a sculptors and visitors delight.
The works will look very much in sympathy with the environment of the gardens, whether theyre hanging from trees, made from a tree or standing on the lawn.
Its very different from the Universitys past exhibitions. The landscape of the gardens acts as a perfect canvas to exhibit representational and abstract work.
Special events planned will include the opportunity to see a sculptor at work in the summerhouse, on Sunday 28th June from 11.00am to 4.00pm.
Tom Allan, Dan Archer, Mary Anstee-Parry, Richard Baronio, Rosemary Barnett, David Begbie ARBS, John Sydney Carter FRBS, Kate Denton ARBS, Sokari Douglas Camp CBE, Ken Ford, Miles Halpin, Derek Howarth ARBS, Polly Ionides, Christopher Marvell, Diana Maclean, John W Mills PPRBS ARCA FRSA, Gudrun Neilson, Rita Philips, Irene Rogan, Jilly Sutton ARBS, Deborah van der Beek, Jacek Wankowski, Marjan Woude, Sheila Volimer, Olive Wootten.