THE USE OF SCULPTURE IN GARDENS
Today, the use of sculpture in gardens has become popular even if the garden is small. Placing sculptures in gardens, however, is not a new idea. The Italian Renaissance gardens were based on topiary and marble sculptures with many of them depicting Roman gods.
In the 1930s, the new generation of garden designers and sculptors believed it was difficult to place a modern sculpture within a garden. Among these were the sculptors, Ben Nicholson and Henry Moore. Both felt uneasy about placing a sculpture in a garden. Henry Moore believed that the sculpture lost its independence by becoming part of garden design. He also thought that the sculptor had to dictate to the architect. Anthony Caro, the sculptor, agreed by saying that ‘sculpture more often than not spoils the landscape’. This may well be true but it can also enhance the garden. Isamu Noguchi, the Japanese/American sculptor did not distinguish between the two saying that he ‘liked to think of gardens as the sculpturing of space’.
THE CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW LONDON 2017
This year’s Chelsea Flower Show in London has just come to an end: there were some interesting stands involving the use of sculpture and stone in gardens.
The Maltese Quarry Garden by James Basson was created by using large slabs of marble standing on end illustrating how nature and the gardener can heal the scars of excavation. This is a beautiful but austere garden which won Best in show.
There was also The World Horse Welfare Charity which won gold medal with a metal horse sculpture of Clippy by Tom Hill. The sculpture was made from horse shoes donated by famous equine personalities. The original Clippy was a dapple grey pony who was rescued from terrible conditions by the charity.
WHY USE SCULPTURE IN GARDENS ?
Sculpture is often used as a focal point in a garden but it can equally be used to lead you to other parts of the hidden garden along paths or areas tucked under trees or walls.
A garden sculpture is like a piece of art in a gallery with the surroundings acting as a backdrop to the work. You need to consider the size, shape, colour and texture of the work. Stone is particularly good for sculptures in a garden: it is durable and blends in well with nature. Before placing the sculpture, you also need to think about the light, space, and surrounding landscape. Water and lighting can also interact well with sculpture creating illusion and a more complex and enchanting environment.
Some of the most popular types of outdoor sculpture reflect nature, abstract forms or human heads or figures.
IAN HAMILTON FINLAY AND LITTLE SPARTA SCOTLAND
There is a garden in Scotland that perhaps illustrates the use of sculpture at its best. This garden, in the Pentland Hills above Edinburgh, is known as Little Sparta. It was created by the Scottish sculptor, Ian Hamilton Finlay, and is perhaps his greatest work. The garden contains over 270 artworks which comprise sculptures made from stone, wood, and metal and poetry hand carved in stone. There are distinctive areas including The Roman Garden, Julie’s Garden, The Temple Pool Gardens, The Woodland Garden, The Wild Garden, Lochan Eck Garden, The English Parkland and The Monument to The First Battle of Little Sparta.
SIMON BURNS-COX EDINBURGH SCOTLAND
Another sculptor also based in Edinburgh is Simon Burns-Cox. Simon’s studio is at The Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop which is an international centre for sculptors. He works primarily in stone and marble but also in alabaster, slate, wood and metal plus other media. Simon is also a Letter Carver. Simon makes beautiful interior and garden sculptures, carved reliefs for garden walls and offers all types of letter carving for gardens. If you would like to discuss your requirements, please do not hesitate to contact Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.simonburnscox.co.uk