Sculpture in the Woods: Another Grand Day Out

We went to the Sculpture Gardens at Broomhill Art Hotel. We stepped into a steep green woodland setting, absorbed the scent of soft fresh air and a hint of rain which just held off. I was glad it was like this because I knew bright sunshine through waving branches and foliage would create crazy shadows in any photographs I might take. Not that I ended up by taking anything other than quick snapshots: fleeting moments, movement through the trees, brief flashes of sunlight, blurred impressions of people and sculptures floating in and out of vision.

Wandering around the sculpture gardens, and coming from a sculpture background myself, my first thought was that it was a little cluttered. Pieces were fighting each other rather than playing off each other. But I was thrilled that the exuberant early summer foliage had burst forth creating living green screens around the works, giving me a quite different way of appreciating the work. One caught tantalising glimpses of colour and form… the sheen of metal, an elegant curve, an interesting arrangement of parts…
Even up close one could rarely see the sculpture as a whole, as one constantly had to take into account the physicality of root and stone, slippery banks and grass, undergrowth, wildflowers , bushes and trees. Each pause at each sculpture was a trigger for the imagination and one could not separate the sculptures from their living surroundings.

I was also aware how the static sculptures made points of focus, and somehow heightened my awareness of movement and sounds all around. Birds, leaves, butterflies, water running in the stream, splashing over stones, rippling with fine rain. Distant glimpses of colour and form, movement, snatches of birdsong , rustling sounds and muffled voices all filled and animated the lush green woods. This was an interlude – a transition between one story and another.

It was a kind of browsing time, absorbing experiences and impressions that, for some of us, may well emerge in some future piece of work. Walking slowly, talking quietly, we slipped our minds out of gear, pausing at each point of interest, letting our memories and fantasies play freely.

This beautiful piece swirled and glided slowly in the stream perfectly harmonising with the mood of the day. Other than this, I have not focused on the sculptures as such, as I wanted to convey my experience.

Afterwards we visited the Opening of the delightful North Devon Arts Square Picture Show, flitting from picture to picture like bees, sipping a little bit here and a little bit there. The gallery gradually filled up with people, becoming more and more crowded – and eventually became too hot and noisy for me. I stepped out into the air and into the hotel, where I sank into an enormous comfy armchair, joining Anne and Pauline for afternoon tea. Yes – decidedly another grand day out! 

About throughstones

I am primarily a visual artist, living on the North Devon coast, a beautiful semi-rural area in South West England. I am interested in full engagement with 'place' and the eternal movement of life - particularly as it relates to what we call 'the natural environment'.
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