Welcome to the Friends of the Garden
The Friends of the Garden is a group of volunteers with a passion for gardening and who also feel that introducing contemporary art into a garden can completely change the way we see both nature and art. In 2007 and 2009 we organised two exhibitions of sculpture in the gardens of Urchfont Manor College. When that property was put up for sale by Wiltshire Council we looked for new opportunities to show contemporary works of high quality art and craft in gardens of note, Avebury Manor in 2012 and most recently at West Lavington Manor in 2014.
We have three aims. Sculpture by its nature needs to be set in a context that creates a ‘conversation’ between the art, the garden or landscape setting, and the viewer. Our first aim is to work in partnership with artists and allow them to showcase their work in ways that redefine both the garden and the exhibits.
Our second aim is to make sculpture accessible to a wider public. A more informal garden setting, in contrast to a formal gallery setting, encourages visitors to explore sculpture up close, to touch and respond intuitively.
Whenever possible we include demonstrations or residencies to allow visitors to meet and engage more fully with artists
Part of making sculpture more accessible is making it affordable too. We therefore have a policy of catering for potential buyers with more limited budgets by having smaller work of lower value by exhibition artists also on sale.
Our third aim is to support 3D artists in Wiltshire by commissioning work or by providing other opportunities for their artistic development. The Friends charge artists a 20% commission on sales and after making provision for a reserve sum to cover the costs of staging the next exhibition, all surplus funds are applied to the arts in some way.
Click on the "Supporting 3D artists in Wiltshire" tab for details of our work to date