A stellar art exhibition can make for a fabulous day out, but sometimes you just want to be in the great outdoors. Luckily, these do not need to be mutually exclusive thanks to the fantastic selection of world-class outdoor art in sculpture parks, beaches and gardens which makes for a scintillating experience
Sculpture by the Lakes, Dorset
Described as one of the most beautiful sculpture parks in the UK, Sculpture by the Lakes (pictured above) is a haven of peace and tranquillity. Nestled in 26 acres of Dorset’s glorious countryside, renowned sculptor Simon Gudgeon has created a glorious treat for art enthusiasts and collectors alike.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Yorkshire
In an open-air gallery in West Bretton near Wakefield in West Yorkshire, you can find a wonderful selection of work by both British and international artists such as Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. In fact, Moore’s impressive selection of bronzes is one of the largest open-air displays of his work in Europe. Their most recent display ‘David Smith: Sculpture 1932-1965’ features 40 pieces by this pioneering and highly influential American artist.
Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh
Jupiter Artland has an expansive outdoor sculpture collection featuring site-specific artworks commissioned from some of the world’s most renowned artists to Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Cornelia Parker and Marc Quin. Their latest permanent commission, Gateway, by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos is an artwork integrated in a whimsical pool garden. The piece includes patterns from her own astrological chart into the design of the artwork, which is made of 11,366 hand-painted and glazed tiles crafted using traditional methods at a 100-year-old factory in Vasconcelos’ native Portugal.
Folkestone Triennial, Kent
Fifteen installations from the 2017 Folkestone Triennial Festival have been rehomed around Folkestone. Expect to see pieces by Antony Gormley, David Shrigley and Lubaina Himid. One of the new acquisitions Bill Woodrow’s The Ledge – a white steel sculpture of an Inuit figure and a seal on a thin layer of ice – showcases his concerns about climate change. Visitors can also expect to see works by the likes of Tracey Emin, Yoko Ono and Cornelia Parker.
Chihuly at Kew Gardens, London
Renowned US glass artist, Dale Chihuly is back at Kew Gardens with Chihuly: Reflections on Nature. This ethereal outdoor exhibition is made up of 32 spectacular installations which includes a new piece of work which has been specifically designed for the newly opened Temperate House. Visitors can also expect to see the Seaforms Series and his intriguing installation Sapphire Star.
The Treatment Rooms, Chiswick
Known as the UK’s unique mosaic house, this fascinating artistic masterpiece is the result of a project that began in the 90s by artist Carrie Reichardt, who has quite literally covered her house (and studio) top to bottom in colourful mosaic tiles! Hidden away on a quiet, suburban street in Chiswick, you can even book the top of the house for the night, available to rent on Airbnb.
RHS Garden Wisley, Surrey
What do you get if you take a selection of exciting sculptures with an intriguing array of exotic plants? The Sculpture Trail at RHS Garden Wisley of course! Now in its 22nd year, the sculptures range from abstract to traditional pieces that have been created from a wide selection of materials including bronze, resin, wood, metal, glass, stone and found objects.
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