Sunday, 20 October 2013

Sculpture in the Gardens

I have blogged about our liking for outdoor sculpture in the past.  Today's visit inspired me to publish a few (of the 65) photos I took at Storm King in 2005.  So we were very pleased when a friend - an organiser for the Open Gardens Scheme (OGS) - sent us a link to a site about an Open Garden at Lambrigg which features sculptures.

The leaflet by OGS suggests that the name of the property, given by William Farrer the original owner, means "hill of lambs".  The wiki-link suggests it is named after his home district in Northumberland UK.  A further thought - which I really like -  from the North of the UK is given by Riggwelter beer (one of the best I have ever drunk) where rigg derives from Old Norse 'rygg' meaning back.  So the place is 'lambs back " perhaps referring to Australia riding on a sheep's back: which could be a reference to the wool industry as the source of Australia’s prosperity, first recorded in 1894.

We were astonished to see the mass of parked cars from Point Hut Rd (about 2km away).  Getting closer showed this wasn't a mirage. (Our organiser friend said they had 1365 folk through the gates on the Saturday.)
The first work seen is this by Al Phemister "Large Kern".  An interesting title, and looking at the definition of 'kern' offers much food for thought in what it means!
Our friend and neighbour Mike Macgregor is an incredibly skilled sculptor, working mainly in steel.  He also adds rock elements when necessary.  Mike explained that this represents three grass trees (Xanthorrhea sp).  The skirts are made of weathered fencing wire while the heads are differing types of rock.  The narrative refers to the distribution of plants moving up hillsides as the climate warms: the furthest member of the trio is heading for a better climate (and when looked closely its skirt is billowing backwards).
Mike didn't explain this one titled 'The Binding Tree"  so what follows is my own interpretation.  The 'tree' element of the title is quite apparent.  If expanded (by clicking on the image) the shapes in the 'canopy'  are all hands.  So I will have a shot at it referring to family ties linking through the environment, represented by a tree.  You could also swing in a thought about everything being linked by the hands joining together.
These next two samples are interesting as they are by the guy who lives at Lambrigg.  He is a farmer and fencing contractor, so the supply of wire is assurred!

These three are more Al Phemister with titles referring to dandelions.  The seed tufts look like the things that milk bottles are perched on for washing.  Whatever, very clever.
Another friend's Ann McMahon - work, of which a previously blogged sample includes some willow prunings from our place.  The title is "The view from here".  The view could be what one can see through the hole, and Ann gave us some expert commentary on her thinking about the structure of the piece.  Of course, being made of natural materials it changes over time and I reckon a really good photo essay could be made of that process.
This was possibly the most intriguing piece in the exhibition.  Its by Marianne Courtenay and Bev Hogg and is titled Groundwork 1.  What fascinates me about the piece is that it appears solid and smooth but is actually made of little sticks so has lots of gaps and edges within it.

In the foreground we have some of Alison Dent's corrugated iron horse panels.  The old circular saw in the mid-ground is possibly art trouvee but as it isn't signed 'Damien' it's probably worth no more than scrap value.  Note the mighty Murrumbidgee in the distance.
These were very interesting, comprising a single work called 'Horse' by Tony Lemerle (Tony the song-thrush? - sounds like a character from a Godfather movie!)
A close-up of an element of 'Horse, showing how they have been made from star pickets.
Presumably this is not a work in progress by Andy Goldsworthy but a bit of the natural process of entropy being applied to a well.  If the event is repeated in the future it will be interesting to see how it has changed.
There were some large works in a broad style of Mark di Cervo.  This one appears to have captivated a  mini-fashionista
I loved this upside down cow (aka Cow Inverted) by Simon Scheuerle.  Frances wasn't so keen on it.  It could have been improved by somehow suspending a 'pie' behind the rear legs!
A sample of the smaller works inside the marquee.  I was intrigued in the way the bow saws had been interwoven.  Does this make a statement about the tangled state of the forestry industry or is it merely an aesthetically pleasing design?
The third sample by Mike Macgregor.  Some elements of this are glass.  I have taken it at face value as an item I really like to look at and haven't tried to analyse its meaning (shime, shime).  I'd really like to see a life sized version of this, if it is possible to do. It would be an an absolute whizzer in Sculpture by the sea.
The item in red was not ni the catalogue!  The dogs made a nice work to see on the way out.
A different view of the Big Kern.  Perhaps the title of this image could be a "Hi-lux into a Big Kern won't go"?
This bull was not a work of art although Damien could turn him into one.  I'm not sure he was even aware of the activities of a mass of people about 100m away from him, but just zoned out, ruminating.
Apart from the art, the garden itself was really nice, so here is a vista.
A dogwood.
Even after the masses at Robbo last weekend I still have room for another image of a rhododendron.
The track in and out from Tidbinbilla Rd was a bit tedious since I suspect many of those in attendance hadn't driven on a farm track before and had trouble coping.  It wasn't clear to me if the RFS guys were making life easier of just more frustrating!
Overall a splendid event and OGS, the owners of Lambrigg and the artists are all to be congratulated.

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