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2019 Bursary Programme


The Friends of the Garden is a voluntary organisation with two main objectives; to promote contemporary sculpture to a wider audience and to provide bursaries to 3D artists. To date, in fulfilling these objectives we have undertaken 6 biennial sculpture exhibitions in gardens in Wiltshire and organised a range of bursary programmes. Since 2014 both activities have been carried out in partnership with Corsham based charity Pound Arts.

2019 Bursary

Our 2019 bursary programme incorporates two elements. The first involves matching three MA graduates in 3D art with mentors drawn from our previous exhibitions. Graduates of Plymouth College of Art, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Bath Spa University, Bristol UWE, Winchester School of Art, part of Southampton University and the University of South Wales will be invited to apply following visits by the Friends curator and others from the organising team to graduate shows in September 2019.

The second element covers taking part in two major exhibitions. See under the heading Exhibitions below.

Our mentors and their offer

We are delighted that 5 artists who are exhibiting at our 2020 exhibition have agreed to act as potential mentors. In total three placements are available and as the following outlines indicate, graduates are able to choose between those offering general guidance spanning the making of a major exhibition piece and others which have a specific focus on a single aspect of professional practice.

Helen Sinclair - Her work is primarily focussed on the human figure cast either in bronze or resin. Casts are made using the lost wax method from originals made from a wide variety of materials including many collected from beaches near her studio. Helen has exhibited widely with galleries in England and Wales and her work is held in public and private collections across the world. She is a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors.

Helen has offered to provide ad hoc advice to a graduate about making an approach to a gallery, preparing for a major exhibition, and maintaining a positive relationship with curators and galleries in developing a professional career. A more detailed plan of what this process would cover would be agreed between Helen and her selected mentee.

Giles Penny - His work combines drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture. In all of these mediums Giles represents the human form as a way of exploring the relationship between physical and abstract worlds. Equally at home in each discipline, the relationship between these different forms of expression allow Giles to draw inspiration that reflects across all of his work. In sculpture this is most obvious in the large semi 3D public commissions that Giles has undertaken for major corporate clients. He is a long standing member of the Royal Society of Sculptors and in 2017 was elected to the RWA.

Giles has offered to provide mentoring to an agreed programme that focusses on developing a practice where the mentee seeks to incorporate both 2D and 3D elements in a way that each feeds into the other and enhances the qualities of both.

Melissa Cole is an artist blacksmith. Melissa works with various metals exploring sculptural form, line and space with new work informed by the landscape. Her approach combines traditional and contemporary methods of making mainly semi abstract figurative and architectural forms. She has undertaken a wide range of major public and private commissions. On being awarded its prestigious ‘Bronze Medal’ in 2007, Melissa became a Fellow of the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths.

Johannes Von Stumm works in metal, granite and glass, often combining all three, to create abstract or reduced figurative work at a wide range of scales. A strong characteristic of his work is an ability to incorporate very different materials in a manner such that each forms a harmonious whole. For Johannes ‘It’s the spiritual energy of a piece of work that counts and nothing else’. Johannes is a member and former President of the Royal Society of Sculptors.

Ian Marlow works mainly in stainless steel and glass. The scale of his work ranges from small works for indoor settings to large outdoor pieces for public commissions and private gardens. All of Ian’s work is inspired by the natural world and is designed to capture movement and light so that the experience of viewing each piece constantly changes. Ian is an associate of the Royal Society of Sculptors.

Melissa, Ian and Johannes have offered to support a graduate on a programme that covers all stages in the making of a piece designed specifically for the Friends’ 2020 exhibition. Each of these artists would agree a programme that would progress through stages at agreed intervals from concept through detailed drawings/specification, making and installation.

Terms of engagement

Mentors will be paid a fee of £1,500 for up to five days of their time. Each mentor will agree with his/her graduate the allocation of their input over an agreed timeframe designed to meet the objective/s set out in his/her outline statement.

Mentees will also be paid a fee of £1,500 but this can be spent on travel, materials, and other expenses incurred as a direct result of engaging on the programme. Mentees must not make demands on the time of their mentors beyond that agreed at the outset.

Mentees are required to document key elements of their programme, for example by taking photos of their concept sketch, design drawing, making process, finished piece and a meeting with their mentor. These images will be used by us to prepare a story board about each mentorship. These boards will form part of both of the exhibitions described below.


In addition to this award successful graduates will have two further opportunities to engage with us.

The Friends final exhibition, ‘Sculpture in the Landscape 2020’ will run from 3 – 27 September that year and will be held at West Leaze near Aldbourne, Wiltshire. This largely landscaped 5 acre garden was once the home of sculptor Roger Leigh. In 1969 he held an exhibition of sculpture in the garden and many leading sculptors of the time took part. We hope to include one or more of these as a guest sculptor at our 2020 event. Mentees will also submit one or two pieces of sculpture for inclusion in the exhibition which comprises a retrospective of many of the 135 artists who have previously exhibited with us. These include all of the artists in the mentoring programme.

The work submitted by mentees for this exhibition should be suitable for placing in the landscape.

As part of that exhibition we will include two sets of story boards. One will feature the 1969 exhibition and as noted the other will document each of the three mentoring programmes.

In January 2021 Pound Arts will stage an indoor exhibition in partnership with us. Details have still to be finalised but it is planned it will include work by one or more 1969 artists, the six artists involved in the 2020 mentoring programme, photographs documenting ‘Sculpture in the Landscape 2020’ and the story boards as noted above. This exhibition should include examples of mentees sculpture but could also include other work.

Both are selling exhibitions. At the outdoor exhibition the Friends will reduce their commission on any sales of work by mentees to 10%. The Pound’s commission is 40%.



September - visits by Friends’ team members to MA graduate shows where invitations will be issued to graduates
October 31 - deadline for applications to take part in mentoring programme
November - consideration of applications by a judging panel in consultation with mentors. The panel will comprise the director and exhibitions curator of Pound Arts and a representative of the Friends team. The Friends curator will act as key contact and administrator.
December - successful mentees advised


January - mentees engage with mentors and agree a programme
September 2 - 27 - exhibition at West Leaze


January - exhibition at the Pound

Judging criteria

Judging will be based on two assessments. The first will be made at each graduation show in discussion with 3D artists who are interested to apply. This assessment will look at

  • The strength of the current body of work
  • What it’s intended to convey to an audience
  • The standard of finish and attention to detail in the work
  • Whether the work shows a well-rounded understanding of the materials used
  • The work they would propose developing for both 2020 and the Pounde

Applicants should note that for 2020 they should be able to convince the judges that they are capable of producing at least one piece designed for a garden or landscape setting. The Pound’s curator would want to be assured that in order to allow her a choice, applicants would ideally be able to provide 5 – 10 pieces of work.

The second assessment will rely on the information supplied as set out below.

How to apply

Applications must include the following information;

  • A one page CV
  • Low resolution images of up to three pieces of work suitable for an outdoor setting
  • an outline of between 500 – 1,000 words setting out why you would like to take part in our mentoring programme and how you believe the experience would further your professional development. This statement should include details of your proposed medium and any specific requirements that you would want to request from your mentor. You should nominate your preferred mentor. However, the judging panel reserves the right to offer you an alternative placement.

Please note that all file names of the specified documentation should begin with your surname followed by a descriptor of each of the elements above. If you have not, to date, made any work suitable for outside you will need to not only provide photos of that but also indicate the material/s you intend to use and provide assurance that you have access to the facilities required for making.

In drawing up a shortlist, the judges will base their assessment on the extent to which they consider your proposal is likely to result in a real boost to your future career.

We look forward to your submission!

For further information please contact; Lesley Andrews, curator, Friends exhibition programme as per out Contacts page.