Last week I went to one of the most impressive Sculpture exhibitions I have been to in a very long time, perhaps in my life. I am fairly well travelled but still I’d say this was undoubtedly my favourite exhibition ever. Exquisite and Opulent and very Mystical. “Art in the Garden” had a fantastical feel with elements of sci-fi and mythology and fantasy. Overall a very Surrealist feel and ultimately very Otherworldly. I walked through the gardens enchanted by captivating sculptures. I took photos of some of these to share.
The absolutely Iconic piece above which is made from bronze and fibreglass is called “Conference Pear” and is by Irish Sculptor, Orla de Bri. She describes her work as follows…
“My work is predominantly figurative, the figures are highly stylized and usually appear with an abstract shape or element from nature. I am curious about human behaviour and how we develop and change over time. How we analyse ourselves, relate to other people and how we connect with our surroundings is central to my work.
The process of making a sculpture is something I really enjoy; beginning with a thought or a feeling then a drawing, followed by the physical aspect of constructing the piece.
I like playing with and exploring different materials combining elements that seem incompatible at first, but yet express something in the piece. during this process I feel very much part of the work, almost like a meditation.”
The piece above is “Artic Melt – Cube”, a cast bronze cube on polished bronze puddle by Irish Sculptor Colm Brennan. He has been involved in Sculpture since the mid 1970’s and is a founder member of the Sculptors Society of Ireland. Colm’s sculpture is generally in bronze or combining bronze and stainless steel and travels twin paths of abstraction and naturalism.
Above is “Fossil”, in the middle, by Alva Gallagher. Her work involves a continuous exploration of oceanic movements and elements. She began to explore the deep blue sea at a young age and adores the solitude experienced in the depths of the water.
“Sabrina Water Feature” on the right and “Blythe Spirit” on the left are cast bronze pieces by sculptor Sandra Bell. The themes of harmony and balance are predominant in her sculpture. She states that; “The pleasure and enjoyment in connecting with people through the creation of my sculpture delights me. I lose myself in my work and explore my inner feelings in a quiet and meditative place. I love that others viewing my sculpture may share part of my experience and find meaning and relevance in the the work that I do.”
Recently Sandra has been working on the theme of the emergence of women from the restrictions imposed by a male dominated society. This theme is illustrated by figures whose bindings are being cast aside.
The exhibition took place in the beautiful surroundings of the 5 Star Culloden Estate and Award winning Spa located in Holywood, County Down. Standing in 12 acres of beautiful secluded gardens and woodland it was orginally built as an official Palace for the Bishops of Down. It is situated on the wooded slopes of the Holywood Hills overlooking the County Antrim Coastline and is Northern Ireland’s most prestigious hotel. The exhibition was hosted by Gormleys Fine Art and celebrated their 30th Anniversary marking three decades of support for the Arts in Ireland.
I studied History of Art at school and Salvador Dali was always one of my most favourite artists, fascinating, talented and quirky. The Surrealism movement really appealed to me as it is mysterious and unconventional and explores dreams and fantasy, going beyond reality and unlocking the unconscious. Surrealist Art brings the world of imagination into full view.
“Persistence of Memory” was always a painting that intrigued me so the sculptures of Melted Clocks certainly appealed. The exhibition featured several of his sculptures in a luxurious setting. The Dali sculpture below is called “Lady Godiva with Butterflies” and you would need to spend a pretty penny to take her home!
This piece was conceived in 1976 and cast in 1984. The Dali Universe describes it as follows…
“Dalí, the great Surrealist master, selected the image of Lady Godiva as one of his favourites, and pays homage to her sensuous and shapely female form through the conception of this sculpture. Announcing her arrival, butterflies not only hover around her and her noble steed, but also adorn her body as she plays her trumpet. Lady Godiva embodies earthly beauty, whereas the butterflies depict the ethereal otherworld.”
Director Gerard Gormley pointed out:
“For the exhibition we are delighted to be working with The Dali Universe to showcase the largest ever collection of Salvador Dali works to be shown in Ireland. The exhibition will feature 14 of his sculpture pieces including two large monumental works. He would be pleased that, 30 years after his death, the largest collection of his works ever to be seen in Ireland is coming to the Culloden Estate. Dali liked grandeur and you can’t get grander than the Culloden Estate.”
Sculptures above are “Mata Hari” (left) and “Seven Veils” (right) by Sculptor Paddy Campbell. In the middle is “For a Drop of Rain” by Olivia Kim.
It was a delight to walk around the beautiful surroundings admiring these exquisite and intriguing sculptures from leading Irish and International Sculptors. Here is a list of the Sculptors Exhibiting:
- Alva Gallagher
- Anthony Scott
- Ana Duncan
- April Young
- Bob Quinn
- Catherine Greene
- Chris Wilson
- Christopher Stone
- Cody Swanson
- Colm Brennan
- Cynthia Moran
- Ed Barton
- Eamonn Ceannt
- Eleanor Swan
- Elizabeth O’Kane
- Ester Barrett
- Fiona Smith
- Giacinto Bosco
- Helen Merrigan Colfer
- Hugh McGlinchey
- Ian Pollock
- Ken Drew
- Leo Higgins
- Mel French
- Michael Quane
- Nicholas Dolan
- Nigel Connell Bass
- Olivia Kim
- Orla de Bri
- Paddy Campbell
- Patrick O’Reilly
- Paolo Staccioli
- Peppe Perone
- Redmond Herrity
- Salvador Dali
- Sandra Bell
- Seo Young-Deok
- Stephen Lawlor
There was also artwork inside the hotel from some of the world’s best known artists including Banksy, Warhol, Hirst and Picasso. It was suitably impressive and a really diverse exhibition. I will write a separate piece about the paintings and sculptures that were on display inside. This was a truly majestic and magical exhibition.
An utterly enchanting exhibition and if you are a connoisseur of fine art with a bit of disposable income you just might find your perfect sculpture or artwork.
You can find more information at Gormleys Fine Art. They have offices in both Belfast and Dublin if you want more information about these sculptures.
If I were to visualise these sculptures anywhere else in the world, it would be in the enchanting, exclusive village of Portmerion in North Wales.
(All Photographs in this article are the property of SupernaturalHippie.com)