By the time you read this, the sculptures will be in place; and – given skill, hard work and lots of luck – they’ll look wonderful. But, as I write, nothing’s in place, and, being a first time curator, I’m feeling a little apprehensive. For all that, my worries are lessening by the day: the emerging sculptures intrigue and challenge – thanks to the enthusiasm and ingenuity with which the sculptors have met their brief. And, due to much thought and care the garden will provide a superb setting.
This exhibition brings together a group of sculptors who developed mainly between the 1970s and the present; a period that saw consumerism and materialism soar out of control to an extent that is now forcing us to change our attitudes to both our environment and ourselves. This upheaval is reflected in these works: between them they stimulate a wide range of new thoughts and new ways of looking.
I’m most grateful to the University of Leicester for hosting and supporting this event; to the artists for creating and lending their sculptures; to the Cass Sculpture Foundation, Pangolin Gallery and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park for lending some major pieces of work. Many thanks are due to Sarah Praill for designing the catalogue, cards, maps etc, to Dr Thomas Flynn of Kingston University for his succinct catalogue essay, to Steve Russell for the photography, to Neil P Bayley Contracting for installing the work; to Stella Couloutbanis and Gail Atkinson for wonderful teamwork; and to Helaine Blumenfeld for suggesting to the Vice-Chancellor that I should have the opportunity to put sculptures I admire into such a marvellous place.
Almuth Tebbenhoff FRBS