1 July 2012

on form 2012 at Asthall Manor

LtoR: Julian Rena Crack (Carrara marble);
Guy Stevens Two connecting spaces (Portland limestone);
David Worthington Giant Erythrocyte (Red travertine)
A year ago I posted about the biennial outdoor sculpture exhibition held at Quenington Old Rectory in Gloucestershire. This year, and not far away, a similar biennial show, on form, can be seen at Asthall Manor in Oxfordshire, again in a beautiful Cotswold setting. This is the sixth on form and like its predecessors over the last ten years is solely of sculpture in stone. Works of considerable quality from 28 sculptors are on show, mostly in the grounds but some in the ballroom and in St Nicholas church near the house.

The exhibition catalogue is available for download, so there is little need for an extensive description. I was glad to see more works by Anthony Turner, mentioned in a post here last year. The difficulty of photographing sculpture became all too obvious when I tried to capture Aly Brown’s elegant surrealistic Female form reclining II (Yule marble):

Similarly, a translucent piece like Luke Dickinson’s Ascent of the Blessed  (Turkish onyx) presents a challenge in lighting:

but the shortcomings of optics are not uncommon, as Simon Hitchens' Two Faced (Onyx and ?) shows below – is that a perpendicular mirror or piece of glass?

On form 2012 continues to 15 July, ill-served by this summer’s weather so far, but well worth seeing. Asthall Manor may offer additional interest for some in having been the home of the Mitford family from 1919 to 1926. Thyme at Southrop’s pop-up cafĂ© is recommended, too.

Paul Vanstone Close (Carrara marble) 

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