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Scraptors Sculpture Trail Opens at Stourhead

Monday 5 September 2011, 10:41
By John Baxter

Fiona with members of her familyFour sculptors, Paul Boswell, Fiona Campbell, Rachel Mcleay and Anthony Wilson have created a sculpture trail at Stourhead entitled Beyond the Garden Gate. This is something not to be missed, particularly by families. Open daily all September this exhibition gives us all an added reason to visit this fabulous National Trust property.

Fiona Campbell with members of her family.

Having read Fiona Campbell's excellent article on the WW which explains the purpose of the exhibition and the approach of the sculptors, I was really looking forward to seeing what the four had produced. Remembering the travesty that a previous team had inflicted on the lake and gardens some four years ago I also wondered how the works would go together and how well they would complement an environment which is already exceptionally beautiful. My reservations proved groundless.

Amazing, unexpected, inventive, funny, entertaining and wonderfully sensitive to the environment, each piece shows real care in the way it is placed to add to the interest of its setting. At the same time while the style and originality of each sculptor is evident, their creations all work well together. Going around on the opening evening, when the light of the setting sun reflected off the still water of the lakes and pools capturing the rich greens, golds and browns of the landscape, the atmosphere was magical. All around one heard laughter and exclamations of surprise and wonder.

This exhibition is not about obscure or pretentious art, but fun and exploration. Children will be quick to pick up echoes of Star Wars, the Muppets and WALL-E which these playful, beautifully crafted, sometimes spooky monsters and creepy crawlies exhibit. It is also amazing how you see the life-like creature first and only then notice what they are made of.

I hope these ten photos capture some of this. To see more visit

John Baxter

An eye on a fallen tree

Visitors admiring their reflections

A prehistoric pinata

Bad hair day

Magic mushrooms

A very skinny horse

A snake eating a large bird

A heron? Landing or taking off...

A dude chillin' with a banjo

One of those new mechanical gardening lizzards


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