Sculpture at the Chelsea Flower Show 2015

Leading the eye towards a pleasing focal point has long been a subtle skill practised by the greatest landscape designers. Punctuating an inspired horticultural composition, sculpture defines the ambience of the environment, conveying meaning and moment. Sculpture introduces an element of the unexpected and reveals itself with theatrical intent. When thoughtfully placed its balanced proportionality is staged to dramatic effect, evoking memory, emotion and visceral response. Though the Chelsea Flower Show may have been challenged by the lack of financial sponsorship available for garden designers since the economic tremor of 2008, potentially empty plots have been filled by those offering…

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Sculpture by the Lakes

Changing gear to reduce your speed is both a physical and metaphorical preparation as you turn beside the artists’ house, delighted that you did not miss the discreet laneside sign for Sculpture by the Lakes, the home of Simon and Monique Gudgeon. Scrunching down the gravel driveway towards the car park, tantalising glimpses of the sculptures distract. This feels new and different, open and inviting, in stunning contrast to the traditional ravine ‘C.A.R.’ – camellia, azalea, rhododendron – gardens along the English south coast. This landscape provides a modern alternative of elegant simplicity and meticulous sight lines; a master class…

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Chelsea Art Fair
16 – 19 April 2015

Beyond the imposingly formal doors of Chelsea Old Town Hall a quiet revolution of fight, fantasy and fixation awaits. Re-launched the Chelsea Art Fair delivers desirable art. Amidst the Spring assembly of exquisite pictorial florals and landscapes, molten metal has raged to offer powerful figurative forms. Bushra Fakhoury’s furious Stag Fight is an aggressively executed ritual. Two athletic males bearing stag antlers atop of their skulls – in McQueenesque adornment – clash violently, their primordial animal skinned bodies sprung in choreographed airborne attack. This dynamic anatomical composition is grounded by trailing tails then kinetically charged upwards as their heads butt…

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Leon Underwood:
Figure and Rhythm @ Pallant House Gallery
7 March – 14 June 2015

In preferring Leon, the more unusual, of his three given names – George Claude Leon – there is a hint of the independent pioneer within this twentieth-century artist.1 As an art teacher, draughtsman, painter, printmaker and sculptor Underwood repeatedly reinvented his style to explore the use of materials and develop original visual themes. Manifest in chalk, terracotta, wood and bronze, Underwood’s interpretations of figurative sculptures exceed the repertoire of his less well-travelled peers. Distilling Russian, Icelandic, American, Mexican and African cultures, into a canon of diverse and unexpected works. Yet it is the simplicity of Underwood’s direct connection to our emotional resonance…

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Christopher Marvell @ Portland Gallery 2015

Capturing his patient observations of the natural world, Marvell’s works eliminates extraneous detail, whilst retaining familiar characteristics. His whimsical animals, birds, and figures are scaled for interiors and contemplative garden spaces. Marvell’s craftsmanship renders the weight of bronze as light, contemporary and tactile, washed in warm opaque rose-beige or misted-grey patinas. Soft silhouettes define the gentle curves of these minimalist sculptures, encouraging the gaze to travel across delicate surface indentations. Scratched and pitted as features, feathers and fur, the fine serrations maintain the simplicity of presentation. Collectively, Marvell’s sculptures convey a sense of fanciful and playful intent.  

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London Art Fair 2015 – A Sculptural Narrative

fairy light in a jam-jar

The London Art Fair 2015 offers collectors the tantalizing possibility of owning important smaller scaled works by well-known twentieth-century sculptors – Reg Butler, Lynn Chadwick, Elisabeth Frink, Henry Moore, Eduardo Paolozzi – the latter being the subject of the keynote panel Conversation. For those seeking momentum to their perspective, sculptures from the current generation of artists provide a varied narrative with a distinctly gentler curve. Works by Anna Gillespie, Christopher Marvell and Helen Sinclair reflect a variety of transitions progressing away from the abstract forms of the last century. New works continue to be inspired by feminine forms. In silhouette,…

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