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SCULPTURE BY THE LAKES

Pallington Lakes, Pallington, Dorchester, Dorset, - In 2007, British Sculptor Simon Gudgeon and his wife Monique created Sculpture by the Lakes at Pallington Lakes, Dorset. Designed to provide a tranquil backdrop for Gudgeons’ monumental sculptures, as well as housing his workshop and gallery space, the sculpture park is open to the public and provides a unique environment within which clients can consider the works in situ. The 26 acre park also offers carefully planned planting, and plentiful wildlife, making it as much a destination for garden and nature lovers, as it is for art enthusiasts.

The Park

Sculpture by the Lakes is a veritable feast for garden lovers, offering 26 acres of beautiful Dorset countryside. The land is the site of former fisheries comprising 14 acres of deep-water lakes, a stream and the fast-flowing River Frome, as well as a beautiful, landscaped garden near to the house.

The lakes are bounded by wilder, unspoiled areas, criss-crossed by tranquil walks which wind their way through newly restored wildflower and native grass meadows. A gradual process of restoration and rejuvenation of the ground’s native flora has been underway since Monique and Simon arrived in 2007 and this includes a massive planting of some 4,500 trees, shrubs, grasses, bulbs and herbaceous perennials as well as reseeding with indigenous groundcover plants.

Native water-loving trees such as Willow and Alder abound and exotic species such as Swamp Cypress and Dawn Redwood have been added. More recent projects include a newly planted Butterfly Walk with favourites such as buddleja, lavender, honeysuckle and catmint, and the Sculpture by the Lakes.

Woodland Walk which features 30 Japanese maples as well as magnolias, flowering cherries and some recently introduced bamboo rarities from China.

The formal garden area which surrounds the house, includes the Japanese-style Karikomi Garden – karikomi refers to the use of groups of plants clipped into rounded shapes, suggesting mountains, clumps of trees and, on a more abstract level, waves. The Wise Walk, which leads visitors away from the house and the Gravel Garden into the lushness of the Bamboo Garden, offers a tunnel of classic climbers such as wisteria, clematis and honeysuckle and both climbing and rambling roses, a delight to the senses especially on warm and still summer evenings.

The gardens are a perfect backdrop for Simon’s sculptures throwing light and shadow across the works, bringing them to life and creating new shapes. Throughout the cycle of seasons, new perspectives are revealed as the light changes and flora and fauna appear, disappear and transform.
 

 
Sculpture by the Lakes is open to the public, and tickets are currently £10.
Opening hours are 11am – 5pm, Monday to Sunday.

Chelsea Flower Show

Sculpture by the Lakes, received a Five Star Tradestand Award from the Royal Horticultural Society at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015. Sculpture by the Lakes, the only trade stand to win the five star rating, featured new and iconic works by renowned British sculptor Simon Gudgeon, integrated into a planting scheme designed by Monique Gudgeon to reflect the natural and wild garden at the Dorset sculpture park.

Simon and Monique Gudgeon comment: "Taking part in the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show has been a tremendous experience from start to finish and to be the only trade stand to win the coveted top five star award on our debut was just overwhelming. There are no words to express how thrilled we are. The whole team at Sculpture by the Lakes worked incredibly hard on our stand and our success at the first show was a team effort. We already have plenty more creative ideas for next year, watch this space!"

The Sculptures

Isis was placed in London’s Hyde Park in 2009, the first public sculpture for the park in over 50 years. Over 10ft tall, and weighing ¾ of a ton, Isis is representative of Gudgeon’s Monumental works. Based on the Ibis, a wading bird, which was sacred in ancient Egypt and associated with the god Thoth, the abstracted sculpture also references the human form, and intends to convey an emotion that relates to the human spirit. The word ‘Isis’ itself comes from the Egyptian goddess of nature, fertility and simplicity, also known as the Great Protector. These characteristics can be found in the finished sculpture which is essentially a contemplative piece which tries to understand the reason for our existence. Isis exists in many versions, sizes and materials, including in situ at Sculpture by the Lakes. 
 

"Search for Enlightenment" was unveiled in 2011 at Sculpture by the Lakes. Inspired while travelling in Africa, the piece outlines the profile of two large human heads, a male and a female, cast in bronze and placed next to each other. Their expressions are peaceful and contemplative; understanding and accepting of their place in the universe. The form of the sculpture allows the viewer to look through them, which incorporates their existence within the surrounding landscape. Search for Enlightenment in many versions, sizes and materials, including in situ at Sculpture by the Lakes. 

Prices for the larger sculptures range from £5,500 to £295,000 and exist in editions of between 5 and 12 depending on the piece.

Thoth (pronounced tehuti) was the Egyptian God of the moon, wisdom and magic. Ancient myth tells us that it was that ‘measured the heavens and planned the earth’. Thoth is often depicted with the head of an ibis, its crescent-shaped beak links the bird to the shape of the new moon, a symbol of a source that has governed the seasons, and night and day throughout time.  The shape of the tail is also a Sculpture by the Lakes inference to the moon, forming a beautiful crescent shape.

This was the first large sculpture Simon created and was the first sculpture to be placed at Pallington. Abstracting the bird form, especially those based on inis or cranes, has been a subject that continues to inspire and stimulate.

The Collection is a range of smaller bronze sculptures in larger editions cast to the same quality and finish as their large-scale versions at Gudgeon’s UK foundry.  Prices range from £2,950 - £9,000.

"The Kinetics" are a collection of carefully engineered sculptures exploring balance, movement and the purity of the abstract form. This new series was unveiled in 2013 at a solo exhibition at the Halcyon Gallery, London, entitled Transitions. 

By their very nature, the kinetic sculptures adjust and reform through exposure to forces of nature, therefore offering infinite physical and optical variations of themselves.  They are intended to reflect the human condition, through the impossibility of applying logic and order to the form, which reflects the constant transition from stability to collapse.  Prices for the Kinetics range from £2,000 to £225,000.

Fruit is Gudgeon’s most recent series, featuring platters of oversized seasonal fruit including apples, cherries, plums and pears. By creating them in such large scale, he draws into focus the beauty of the form of each fruit, rather than their mere purpose as a source of sustenance.  Prices range from £4,500 for Cherry to £25,000 for Pear or Apple.

 

The Artist

A leading British contemporary sculptor, Simon Gudgeon is known for his often very large-scale minimalist, semi-abstract forms, created in his signature smooth style. Using a stripped-back aesthetic, Gudgeon takes nature as a major influence working directly from his encounters with, and observations of, live subjects and the natural world.

Gudgeon captures specific moments through the crafting of clean lines that suggest rather than depict a form, a movement or a feeling, provoking a strong connection between the viewer and object. He sculpts primarily in bronze, and occasionally in marble, granite, glass or stainless steel. Terracotta clay, oil-based Chavant clay, epoxy resin or foam, are used for the initial modeling, depending on the nature and scale of the subject and the intended result.

Gudgeon’s works are featured in important private collections in the UK and overseas, including those of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH The Prince of Wales, Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Duke of Bedford and The Duke of Northumberland. In addition, Gudgeon’s works are included in the permanent collections of several prominent art museums in the USA, including America’s National Museum of Wildlife Art and the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum.

Gudgeon’s sculpture ‘Isis’ is the first piece of public sculpture to be placed in London’s Hyde Park for over 50 years and has formed an integral part of the hugely successful £2 million fundraising campaign to build the new Look Out Education Centre. At over 10 feet tall and three quarters of a ton in weight, Isis is a magnificent work visible from over 500 yards.

The Gallery

Established in Summer 2014, The Gallery at Sculpture by the Lakes offers an indoor space for smaller sculptural works, as well as paintings, drawings and other two dimensional artwork. Exhibitions are curated by leading British sculptor and owner Simon Gudgeon, who draws from an impressive cast of international artists, many of whom have never exhibited in the UK and will therefore be submitting unique and unseen work for sale. Entry to the Gallery is free and it is open from 11am to 5pm every day.



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