Yesterday I made a 12 hour round trip from Kent to Devon to take work to Delamore Arts in Cornwood, Devon.
Setting off a little after 5.30 a.m. to miss most of the traffic on the M25 got me to the M3 with little queuing and the 50mph limit on the upgrading section of the M3 made for quite a stress free section of the journey. In fact the whole journey down was pretty stress free except for the very narrow, single track lanes into Cornwood from Ivybridge, which were not ideal for the large van I had hired from Enterprise to deliver the sculptures. Nevertheless I arrived late morning and was met by some of the support team, who were on hand to assist sculptors arriving with work. I was taken to meet David, who had been my means of communication with Delamore Arts throughout the process of applying to exhibit right up to delivery, and then was greeted by the present owners of the house.
Taking a walk around the gardens with the owner I was able to see other sculptures that had already been delivered and installed. They showed a great variety of media, genre and scale, which will make the exhibition all the more interesting to visitors, as there will be work to suit all tastes. The first suggestion was that the large Pod sculpture should be sited in the centre of the large grassy area immediately to the rear of the house. I was delighted to accept the offer to place the sculpture there as it will act almost as a central point of the exhibition, although the large space makes the sculpture appear small by contrast to the magnificent trees. I should have made it bigger!!!
We then walked around the garden to discuss suitable areas for the other two smaller works. I chose separate areas of the garden which suited their scale and which provided contrasting environments of shrubby woodland and flower border. The latter suggested to me that it would provide a beautiful spectacle as the plants matured and flowered throughout May.
Once we had agreed on the siting of the other pieces of sculpture I began the installation of the large Pod. The work was easily installed once I had been assisted in carrying it to the lawn, just leaving me to level the base with some builders sand I had brought with me and pegging it in place for reasons of H&S for the visiting public. It does make a superb setting for the sculpture and I am very pleased.Once I was happy with it
I was able to take my time and was given the flexibility to adjust the placement of the other two works and the installation was very straight forward; simply a matter
of carrying the plinths and the sculptures to the areas in question and tweaking their placement. It is at this point that I am so pleased that the materials I use makes the work so easy to move and install. (I hope that the same qualities will be found useful to anyone who might purchase a piece from me!) The Torso of St Agatha of Sicily was placed in the naturalised woodland setting, close to a range of other smaller sculptures in stone and metal. The placement offers a variety of views depending upon the direction visitors take when walking around the garden exhibition.
The Janus sculpture is in a more open situation, thus presenting very contrasting
aspects of the sculpture as visitors move around the garden; from one angle
offering the view of a simple amphora on a plinth and from another a more sculptural form. I had always envisioned this to be the case as the sculpture was very much designed to fit into a domestic garden environment, whether it be of a Mediterranean quality or typically British.
After completing the installation and eating a quick sandwich that I had taken with me I was able to take a look at some of the other sculptures in the garden and to take photographs of my work in situ.
The photographs of exhibitions can be found here http://www.robleightonsculptor.co.uk/exhibitions
I am very happy to be exhibiting at Delamore Arts. Their organisation and support has been first class (How many organisers of exhibitions supply sculptors with plinths if they need them?). It is a pity it is so far away from home as it would have been nice to meet all of the other artists exhibiting. The thought of making the journey back again quite so soon suggests that I will not be attending.
I would like to thank all those at Delamore Arts for their help and support. I will certainly be asking to exhibit with them again in the future.