With Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Show gone and the fantastic heat wave moving on, now is the time to get out into our gardens again and feel inspired to create that Wow Factor!
Just as an artwork brings together a beautifully designed room in a house – a sculpture in the garden does the same. Whether it is seen from the house or you happen upon it along a path way through the garden, sculpture will always bring a stunning element to your garden!
Again, like buying an artwork for your home – you have to fall in love with it! Your heart needs to flutter each time you see it, either surrounding by your summer flowers or looking like a dripping ice sculpture in the depths of winter!
Ok, so you out to buy a sculpture for your garden – where do you start? Choose something that enhances the style of your garden and try to avoid buying something ‘trendy and of the moment’. However, don’t think just because you have a traditional house and garden that you need to stick to a Venus de Milo or a contemporary modern house and garden has to only do shiny metal abstract. Think outside the box! Do look at our artists Mark Beattie and Gareth Griffiths for stunning artworks for your garden. They are both happy to do commissions for that perfect sculpture.
What you should consider is what the garden means to you, is it a place where you do lots of entertaining (weather permitting!) or somewhere where you love to relax and read a book? Do you want the artwork to have a strong visual impact or a give out a sense of well being? Think about the material, do you want it to be tactile and smooth or rough and craggy? Sculptures come in many forms, anything from wood through to bronze. Durability is key here, obviously cast stone and metals (steel, copper or bronze) will last longer than wood, terracotta or concrete. Don’t forget, metal has the added bonus of getting better as it weathers.
Now, where to put this amazing piece! Larger pieces work as a focal point to highlight an area in the garden, smaller pieces are more intimate, a secret to draw you into a planted area. Formal sculptures work well with a backdrop of a green hedge, whilst the beauty of an abstract piece can be viewed from all angles. Think about whether you want it to be close to the house and enjoyed all through the seasons or seen from a distance and comes into its own when you are in the garden.
Finally, the last thing to make this impressive feature complete – lighting! Up-lighting, down-lighting, cross-lighting – what to choose? Once the sun goes down, your sculpture becomes obscure, that is why lighting is so important, at night your sculpture takes on another persona, centre stage in the spotlight – giving you two artworks in one! Sculptures away from the house will be enhanced against a dark background by a distant spotlight. Up-lighting will give the sculpture a two dimensional look and cast interesting shadows above or on a background wall. Down-lighting will make a sculpture cast shadows down through the artwork onto the ground below. If you highlight the artwork from the side then it can make it look lop-sided, so this is where cross-lighting comes in. It is a good idea to try out different lighting positions with a large flashlight first to get an idea of what works best for you.
So, fallen in love with a sculpture, installed it, lighting in place………now where is that deckchair and Pimms! Enjoy!