Open Air Sculpture at Knebworth, 9 July - 31 Aug 2014

Open Air Sculpture at Knebworth is an exciting new sculpture exhibition taking place in the idyllic setting of the gardens of Knebworth House, Hertfordshire SG1 2AX.  It has been curated by British Art Portfolio in association with Knebworth and this is their first sculpture show to be held in the Garden.

The show will feature the work of 19 contemporary sculptors each displaying two or three pieces using materials such as bronze, wood, marble, stone, copper and stainless steel in a wide range of subjects and styles to suit all budgets.  In choosing the sculptors British Art Portfolio has incorporated established names alongside inspiring new talent to create a show that will enlighten, provoke, excite and charm the visitor.

'Zebra' (Steel), Sally Matthews

The gardens at Knebworth were largely influenced by Sir Edwin Lutyens who married into the Lytton family in 1897.  He created a series of 'garden rooms' each with a different feel, which will be cleverly highlighted by the skilful placing of each sculpture.   ‘The gardens are the perfect place for sculpture and it is exciting to introduce man-made art into the landscape, as differing areas of the gardens offer new surprises round every corner’ says Louise Newton of British Art Portfolio.  Martha Lytton Cobbold, MD of Lytton Enterprises commented, "We are delighted to be working with British Art Portfolio and the wonderful range of artists and art to be on display in our garden this summer".

Highlights of the show include work by David Worthington who was shortlisted for the Jerwood Sculpture Prize in 2009.  He sat on the Council of The Royal British Society of Sculptors, was elected a Fellow in 2009 and Vice President in 2010.  He is bringing 'Stamen' and 'Erythrocyte'.   John Sydney Carter finds inspiration for his work from his love of the sea be it bird life, fish or sailing his yawl on the East Coast.  His work can be found on the steps of the Anglo-American Building, Carlton House Terrace, London, the P & O Building, two major pieces at the University of Leicester and currently he is working on ‘The Bulb’, a 10 metre high Landmark sculpture.  For this exhibition he is bringing 'Heron Form'.  Ivor Abrahams RA is showing Tableau Balance.

'Heron Form' (Bronze), John Sydney Carter FRBS

'Tableau Balance' (Bronze), Ivor Abrahams RA

Mother and daughter, Marzia Colonna and Fiamma Colonna Montagu are both showing very diverse pieces of work: from Marzia are bronzes, ‘Seeker’,  ‘Earth and Sea’ and ‘Winged Figure'.   Her public work can be found in Winchester, Salisbury Cathedral and Sherborne Abbey.  Marzia's daughter Fiamma has had her work described as ‘a combination of Brancusi and Tony Cragg’ by Glen Lowrie, Director of MOMA, New York.  Fiamma works primarily in large scale ceramic forms and installations.  For this show she is making an installation of a portal entitled 'Ancient Flowers'. 

'Portal-Worlds within Worlds' (Ceramic Stoneware), Fiamma Colonna Montague

'Seeker' (Bronze), Marzia Colonna

Sophie Dickens has acquired a name for creating sculptures by  applying pieces of wood onto a steel armature, making a very complex achievement appear seemingly effortless.  'Chinese Horse' is an excellent example.

For this exhibition the work  Helen Denerley is showing is themed on predators such as crocodiles, hunting dogs and an Amur leopard.  She is best known for her larger than life scrap metal giraffes on Leith Walk in Edinburgh.  Mark Coreth, an animalier sculptor, is showing a pair of life-size running cheetah.  His most dramatic commission to date has been an enormous 16 foot high life-size charging elephant, the subject of a 1/2 hour documentary on the Discovery Channel.  Animals and wildlife are a constant source of delight and inspiration to Jo Seccombe who is bringing 'Lizards Larking' and a fragmented ram entitled 'Amun Re'. Another of Britain's leading animal sculptors, Tessa Pullan, who was  apprenticed to John Skeaping RA for 3 years, is bringing a life size stag and hind in bronze.  Geoffrey Dashwood, internationally recognised as one of the leading artists of avian sculpture, whose work is typified by the application of multi-coloured patinas, such as can be seen in this monumental peacock in bronze.    

'Peacock' (Bronze), Geoffrey Dashwood

'Tree Form I' (Cold cast resin bronze), Rupert Merton

Rupert Merton is showing 'Tree Form 1' and 'Tree Form 11' using cold cast resin bronze; a 2 metre high 'Cone' made out of reclaimed copper and steel comes from Cary Norman; 'Link' and 'Podhenge' are both symbolic sculptures in cast stone by Felicia Fletcher and the stainless steel 'Symbiosis 1' is by Jane Clarke; 'Penumbra' in Portuguese rosa marble is by Jonathan Loxley; Julian Rena working primarily with stone is bringing' Crack 2' made from Kilkenny limestone; 'Wait' in Portland limestone is by Luke Dickinson who trained as a stone carver and his latest commission can be found at the Homerton Hospital in east London.   

'Wait' (Portland Limestone), Luke Dickinson

Open Air Sculpture at Knebworth is supported by Hiscox and the benefiting charity is Stevenage Community Trust.

Opening hours: 11am - 5pm (last ticket sold at 4pm)
Admission: Included in the ticket price for the gardens, £9 per person, discounts for groups, children under 4 free
Catalogues: £5
Refreshments: Available at the Garden Terrace Tea Room
BY CAR: Knebworth House & Park are accessed directly from Jct 7 roundabout of the A1M motorway at Stevenage South, 29 miles north of London.  There are signs on both carriageways of the motorway.  SAT NAV: Users should use postcode  SG1 2AX for the Main Gate.  BY RAIL: Non-stop Inter-City and local services run to Stevenage BR station from London's Kings Cross every 30 minutes.  Taxi rank at the station.