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The Sculpture Garden at The Odney Club

The Sculpture Garden at the Odney Club, curated by Lucy Irvine, again proved a huge draw for the art lovers and Cookham Festival crowds.  Not everyone can or will afford a massively impressive sculpture such as the monumental white figures, “Back to back” by Lilly Henry, beneath the spreading cedar trees of The Odney Club but what a joy to have the opportunity to enjoy them all.  Many buyers settled for a bright blue bird bath or a water feature by popular artist, Sarah Cox.  All the sculptors are British working artists and thoroughly deserve to have their work showcased and sold at outstanding events such as the Sculpture Garden.  This is, intentionally, not a craft show with 50p eggcups on sale but a Sculpture Garden for serious sculpture by serious artists.  The grand gardens of Cookham’s Odney Club deserve nothing less. Lucy Irvine, as curator, took her role seriously and stepped up to and beyond the expectations of the Festival audience and of the John Lewis management who kindly allow use of the gardens at the Odney Club for the Sculpture Garden. The exhibition started with a private view for previous collectors and on the opening day, a public chainsaw demonstration by the successful wood artist Simon O’Rourke.

This year Lucy was keen to show a collection of Young Bloods i.e. young graduates such as Freddie Churchill and Royal College of Art post graduate student and V&A Artist in Residence, Emily Stapleton Jefferis.  Word about the high standard of work on show at the Sculpture Garden had reached the ear of The Royal Society of British Sculptors (RSBS) who took the trouble to visit this year and to take note of some of the young sculptors, and to their delight, tagged them on Instagram.  Many curators came along and commented on the strength of the exhibition and took note of several artists on show. The Long Walk was filled with kinetic sculpture, moving in the breeze and catching the eye. Several pieces sold well and the gently turning  leaves by David Watkinson were, rightly, hugely admired. 

Alongside work by the Young Bloods and the avenue of kinetic sculptors was work by the internationally acclaimed artists, Nicolas Moreton and Jenny Pickford.  Nicholas has several international commissions under his belt and has been proclaimed as “the finest stone sculpture tin Britain today”. Jenny has been working with galvanised steel for some years. In recent years she has incorporated her own blown glass into her sculptures making them ever more attractive.  Her work, although cast in steel, has all the grace of a fine line drawing.

Lucy also edited a short film of some of the artist at work in their studios.  This was on show in the Bernard Miller Centre - a film not to be missed by anyone interested in the process of making sculpture and of how artists work.  Also shown for the first time were some examples of what is now termed 2nd Generation Sculpture - smaller versions of original work produced via 3D imaging by Lucy and Public Art Services UK.  Lydia Karpinska’s Springtime rabbit proved very popular in this latest version and Lucy Ryan's Little Devils are irresistible in this version.

Around 5000 visitors passed through the gates of the Odney Club to enjoy the spectacle of the Sculpture Garden - the best ever as several visitors mentioned. 

 

If you missed this outstanding highlight of the Cookham Festival you can still see and buy some of the larger works or new maquettes by contacting lucy@barngalleries.com or visit www.thesculpturegarden.co.uk where work for sale will be listed in the near future.

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