University of Bristol Botanic Garden Easter Sculpture Festival

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University of Bristol

Visitors can enjoy an exceptional experience of some of the best sculpture available in the West Country.The Botanic Garden, with its constantly changing natural light and backdrop of architectural plants, colours and textures, makes a perfect environment for displaying both traditional and modern sculpture. A wide variety of sculpture will be on view including stone, metal, ceramics and stained glass and the opportunity to meet some of the sculptors. Demonstrations and garden tours.

Musical fountains, grand ceramic bird houses and the head of a Trojan horse are an example of what you can expect at this year’s Easter Sculpture event.

The event has become a favourite for families, as well as art and Garden lovers, with the plants in the Garden beginning to stir, flower arriving around every corner and leaves beginning to burst on trees and shrubs.

This year there will be ironwork demonstrations from blacksmith Joanna Willliams of the Underfall Yard in Bristol, and Martyna Zoltaszek will be giving a demonstration of her highly imaginative creative processess. Jo Whiteland will be demonstrating the Malaysian technique of batik where selected areas of cloth are blocked out by brushing or drawing hot wax over them, and the cloth is then dyed. Visitors will also be able to try their hand at throwing pots as ceramicist Tez Robertsis bringing her potter’s wheel for the first time. Willow weaver, Maya Wolfe, will inspire visitors to create a wide array of magical sculptures, including damsel flies and butterflies, to take home with them.

The Glasshouses this year will become an Aviary with a kaleidoscope of birds taking up residence. Zoe Cameron has invited 20 artists and designers to use their ingenuity to create birds from materials as diverse as recycled plastic, bike parts, wood, steel and clay to flourish in the tropical paradise. A special bird spotters guide will aid identification! Also, visitors will be able to buy and rehome a starling with all proceeds going to charities working in the current refugee crisis.

Peter Garrard’s ‘The Ideal Home’ series features palatial bird houses, while Lynda Radford of the Glass Collective uses recycled glass to make the discarded beautiful. Philip Thompson chooses stainless steel for its reflective and contemporary qualities (as can be seen with ‘Trojan Horse’, right) and bronze for its patination effects. An exhibition of paintings of rare plants growing in the Avon Gorge and other sites in SW England, including a collection of 13 different species of Sorbus Trees, one of which is the Bristol Whitebeam will be on display.

The botanical artists participating are: Annie Morris, Andrea Pomroy, Erica Thomas, Jenny Brooks, Anne Girling and Fiona Williams. The paintings are not for sale but each day one of the artists will be demonstrating and will have cards for sale and prints produced from any of the paintings in the cafe area.

The unmistakable ceramic garden sculptures of Karen Edwards will be present, as well as the stone sculptures of Jitka Palmer inspired by stories and themes. Also in the Garden will be the impressive stained glass of Jude Goss and Aurora Pozniakow, with 3D glass displays from Adele Christensen, and the ever popular rusty steel garden sculptures of Willa Ashworth will be on show and sale once again.
Tours of the Garden will take place throughout the day and refreshments will be available while the event is running.

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