National Sculpture Prize

Brromhill 014Now in its fifth year, the National Sculpture Prize is an exciting challenge for new and emerging UK-based sculptors. The ten finalists exhibit their entries in the lower field at Broomhill Sculpture Garden, North Devon for the whole of the summer, and the winners of the judge’s vote and the public vote are announced in October. Previous winners include Glynn Griffiths, Wenqin Chen and North Devon’s own Suzanne Hobbs.

Many pieces from previous years’ competitions are still exhibited in the field alongside the newest sculptures, so there really is a feast for the eyes. And delicious food and drinks are available at the hotel, as well as the original beautifully landscaped garden which is full of every kind of sculpture imaginable. Some of these are pictured in my blogpost from last year, On Reflection.

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“Erratic Boulder” by Jake Rusby (2011 finalist)

Today, Nee and I started up at the hotel with a fantastic tapas lunch, then spent a long time in the lower field getting up close to the NSP exhibition. I have three clear favourites but haven’t yet come to a decision as to which sculpture I’ll be voting for in the public vote. In no particular order, my top three are:- “Myriad” by Sam Zealey, which looks like a large column but is not solid. What look like jets of water falling from above are, in fact, white cords through which the woodland and sky can be still be seen. I enjoyed taking pictures of this piece from different angles; “digital rendition n.3” by Joseph Hillier a geometric metallic human form,some 3 to 4 metres high, standing sentinel-like in the meadow and representing the role of science and technology in our world; “Familiar” by Dorcas Casey which sees three elevated animal heads, domestic goat, horse and ox, draped in clothing and blankets which have been treated with resins so they have set into solid folds. The artist intends the creatures to appear benign and comforting with an underlying malevolence.  … click on any pic to view large …

Broomhill’s website has information about all the entries, along with Artists’ Statements, and you can vote for your favourite too. If you’re ever in North Devon I would highly recommend you spend a day (or a half day) in these beautiful gardens, soaking up some of the wonderful tranquil atmosphere and eating from the delicious menu. Today we had a selection of tapas with homemade bread – I believe it’s the tastiest food available in the region. Below are the remaining seven sculptures.

Vitanee’s photos are here; they are far better than mine!

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