Sunday, May 13, 2012

Avebury Manor - 'Celebrating Art in The Garden'

Swindon may seem like an unlikely holiday destination, but it is ideally placed as a base to see some of the most  beautiful sites in the South West, for example less than a half hour journey away is the historic Avebury stone circle and recently refurbished Avebury Manor.

Last year the 500 year old manor house was the subject of a collaboration between the National Trust and the BBC.  With no original fixtures or fittings remaining in the house an exciting and daring new venture was conceived.  A handful of rooms would be decorated in a period of the history of the house, furnishing them with reproduction and 'new' antiques.

The end result was a TV documentary To the Manor Reborn and a house with  no restricted areas where visitors are allowed to handle the artefacts, sit on the chairs and bounce on the beds.

Avebury Manor is open 11-5 every day except Wednesday and between May 5 and June 10 visitors have the opportunity to view an exhibition of sculpture in the grounds. Celebrating Art in The Garden is another new National Trust venture, this time with the Friends of the Garden.

Work is exhibited in the nine areas surrounding the Manor House including Monk's Garden and the Lion Walk.

The signature piece of the exhibition is 'Penelope Waiting' by Althea Wynne, ARCA, FRBS.  This respected sculptor tragically died with her husband, photographer Anthony Barrington Brown, in a road traffic accident in January 2012 shortly after visiting the Manor to decided where her work should be placed.  As a tribute to Althea's life the Friends are funding a bursary in her memory.  Artists' commissions on sales from the exhibition will go towards this fund.

Bronze statue entitled Penelope Waiting by Althea Wynne in the South Garden

Time Obelisks also by Althea Wynne displayed in The Monk's Garden - contact the exhibition organiser Lesley Andrews on  

Mother, Child and Teddy by Helen Sinclair displayed in The Orchard -

Looking Good, Feeling Fine also by Helen Sinclair inspired by the song, Doo Wah Diddy, 'She looks good, she looks fine .... seen striding through the Lion Walk.

One of several evocative sculptures by Anne Foxley

Royal Stag, Galloping Thoroughbred and Peacock - all by Amy Goodman

For more photographs of this exhibition visit 

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