ARTISTS and craftsmen have created a magical woodland sculpture trail at one of the area’s most beautiful locations.
Set against the backdrop of rhododendrons and azaleas in The Grove at Arley Hall is a trail of sculptures inspired by the environment in which they now sit.
They have been created from a range of materials including wire, glass, wood, metal, stone and willow by artists from across the country.
“As individual pieces, each sculpture is beautiful and together they create a delightful trail through what is already a stunning part of the Arley estate,” said Karen McGuinness, who organised the exhibition.
“We’re excited about how the exhibition is growing in popularity with our visitors and sculptors alike, to the point of attracting artists from different parts of the country now.
“What they have created will enchant children and adults alike this summer.”
In total, 10 artists have created upwards of 30 sculptures which will be refreshed through the summer as visitors purchase the artwork to decorate their own gardens.
One has used glass to create a scene often spotted in Arley’s gardens – a robin sitting on the handle of a garden fork.
The beauty of bumblebees and butterflies has been captured in mosaic form and wooden dormice have found a corner in which to hide.
Lincolnshire-based Lynn Baker, who is responsible for the glass daisies in the exhibition, said she was looking forward to revisiting The Grove as the seasons change.
“Much of my work has a hidden meaning,” she said. “The glass daisies make a bold statement in any garden along with an element of fun. They glisten with droplets of rain after a passing shower and remind us how important water is both to us and the survival of our planet.”
All the artwork found along Arley’s Sculpture Trail is for sale and the artists hope the exhibition will also promote the variety of skills they have put on display.
Blacksmith Adrian Stapleton, who has created a leaping salmon out of iron, said he enjoyed transforming the material.
“To take a piece of this industrial material and with heat, hammer and hand transform it to create curved naturalistic forms is rewarding and challenging,” he said.
“I strive to create pieces which are simple in design, exquisite in their craftsmanship and functional – a delight to use or look at every day.”
Mechanical engineer and artist Brin Morris uses scrap wood to create beautiful sculptures and is the founder of Artism UK.
The not-for-profit organisation supports artists on the autistic spectrum and helps them build confidence, create supportive networks and further their artistic career.
“I donate all my artwork to the Artism Project which means any work sold can raise money to help the artists on the autistic spectrum,” he said.
Arley Hall & Gardens is open throughout the summer and visitors who want to see the sculptures can pick up a guide to the trail in the gift shop from Good Friday.