Using Sculpture in Garden Design
We visited RHS Chelsea last week and though Barrell Sculpture didn’t have an official presence in 2018, we were delighted to see how many designers had incorporated sculpture in their show gardens. It was a recurring theme and it is great that the idea of sculpture in the garden is becoming a central element in garden design.
In fact, we did have a fleeting presence. Swirl, one of Ben’s sculptures, appeared as a photograph on the Horatio’s Garden stand. Horatio’s Garden is a wonderful charity that ‘creates and cares for beautiful accessible gardens in NHS spinal injury centres’ and this year 3 of Ben’s sculptures are on loan to Horatio’s Garden, Salisbury as part of their current exhibition. Swirl, Logan and Crescent bench will be there over the Summer.
High profile attractions like Yorkshire Sculpture Parks and Tremenhere Sculpture Gardens showcase artists’ work, but you don’t need a huge space to include sculpture in your own space. A sculpture in a garden can add an element of interest amongst the planting and be a focal point that draws the eye, or an unexpected discovery.
Some sculpture is designed to shock, but Ben’s work is about the beauty that he sees in the dynamic forces at play on land and sea – the Pebbles on the beach created by the movement of the ocean, the energy of the waves as they break, the lift of a wing as it takes flight. Some of the work is both sculpture and seating, bringing form and function together, but whether sculpture or sculptural seating the intention is to encourage a sense of well-being.
Barrell Pebble Seats are perhaps the most recognizable examples of Ben’s outdoor seating with a sculptural edge. They are now all over the world in private gardens as part of a landscaping scheme, in schools to encourage imaginative play, and in busy urban environments where they provide the opportunity for a moment’s repose. People say that sitting on the Pebble Seats reminds them of happy days playing on a beach and perhaps a little bit of Cornwall is in every one.