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Sculpture in a Landscape 1969 - 2020 at West Leaze

Giles Penny, Waving Man William Pye, Triple Loop

2020 will be our seventh and final exhibition. As a result we hope for a huge success so that we can pass on funds to one or more local Wiltshire arts charities to support bursary and exhibition programmes for 3D artists.

We are delighted to be holding this exhibition at a very special location with a remarkable history.

In the 1930’s prominent Labour politicians Ruth and Hugh Dalton built a beautiful modernist architect designed weekend home high on the Marlborough downs. When Ruth died the 6 acre property was bought by sculptor Roger Leigh and his wife Pat. In 1969 they organised an exhibition of contemporary sculpture in the garden. Eighteen prominent artists of the time took part including Henry Moore, Austin Wright, Hubert Dalwood and William Pye. Records in the archives indicate that over 3,000 visitors came, 3 pieces sold, and there was positive coverage on TV and in the national press.

Now under different ownership this same garden is ours for our 2020 show. We’ve decided on a retrospective and have invited over forty artists from our previous shows. We are confident many of those appearing will include our regular visitors’ favourites and that their work will very much appeal to new visitors too.

We are thrilled to announce that alongside these contemporary artists we will also feature several artists from the 1969 exhibition. They include Roger Leigh and William Pye. We believe William is the only one of the 1969 artists who is still working in this country. The 1969 work in stainless steel that he will show with us is typical of that time. However, since the 1980’s William’s work has mostly incorporated water and many Wiltshire residents will have admired his font in Salisbury Cathedral.

As well as looking to the past our 2020 exhibition features six new artists. Since late 2019 three MA art graduates have been mentored by three established sculptors to make new sculpture especially for a landscape or garden setting. Details of these artists can be found under the heading Bursary Programme 2019. Their work will also feature in our popup shop alongside that of three other 2019 graduates whose applications for our mentoring programme were unsuccessful but whose work we rate highly.

Somewhat remarkably the landscape in which this major exhibition takes place has altered little over the last fifty years. Many of the mown paths follow the same direction, the trees planted by the Dalton’s have achieved full maturity and the chalk bund and bunker dug into the landscape by the Leighs now host a shaded raised path and frame a pond.

As a result we are confident ‘Sculpture in a Landscape 1969 – 2020’ will delight and surprise all who come. Our popup shop will showcase lower value work for immediate sale as will the Summerhouse Gallery featuring smaller scale work by selected artists. A popup café will be open throughout the exhibition and will raise funds for five local charities; Aldbourne Scouts, the Friends of St Michael’s Church, the Junction youth hub, the Memorial Hall and Riding for the Disabled.

‘Sculpture in a Landscape 1969 – 2020’ will take place at West Leaze, Aldbourne, SN8 2LD from 3 – 27 September, open from 11am – 6pm each day excepting on Mondays and Tuesdays when we will be closed.

Artists confirmed for the exhibition are as under. Details with an image of what they have shown previously with us can be found under the relevant exhibition date elsewhere on this site.

2007 Urchfont Manor; Ian Marlow, Melissa Cole, Sarah Beadsmoore, Philip Simmonds, Peter Hayes

2009 Urchfont Manor; James Jones, Alec & Fiona Peever, Gill Reeve, Mel Day, Helen Sinclair, Jon Barrett-Danes, Fenella Elms, Diana Barraclough, Michael Speller, Mel Fraser

2012 Avebury Manor; Roger Stephens, Will Spankie, Sue Tinkler

2014 West Lavington Manor; Lynette Forrester, Johannes Von Stumm, Michael Fairfax, Neil Wilkin, Penny Hardy, Jane Muir, Peter Clarke, Sarah Walton, Olivia Clifton Bligh, Neil Wilkin

2016 West Lavington Manor; Sally Fawkes & Richard Jackson, Lucy Lutyens, Thomas Joynes, Tobias Ford, Chris Wood, Lisi Ashbridge, Philippa Macarthur, Jenny Pickford, Alison Bowyer, Simon Hempsell

2018 Urchfont Manor; Sarah Ingleby-McKenzie, John O’Connor, Dominic Clare, Mollie Gratland, Giles Penny, Charlie Macpherson, Edward Willis, Alice Jennings, Hayley Jones, Ruth Molloy

2019 Bursary artists; Amy Daniels, Anne Frost, Helen McCormick

Guest artists; Matt Maddocks, Lizz Gill, Rachel Bray, Hannah Walters