I am delighted to welcome you to the eleventh Annual Sculpture in the Garden exhibition at the University of Leicester. Since 2002 we have organised and hosted this exhibition in the beautiful surroundings of the Harold Martin Botanic Garden and it has proved to be increasingly popular each year.
The Garden has been owned by the University since 1947, spans a total area of sixteen acres and is home to many significant plant collections. It has always been a great asset to the University and continues to provide researchers, young people and members of the general public with an enjoyable educational experience.
Over the last eleven years a number of artists have kindly agreed to curate the exhibition and have been invited to provide a theme for each show. This year we have been delighted to welcome the renowned artist Almuth Tebbenhoff, FRBS (Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors) as Curator. Almuth has been a regular contributor to Sculpture in the Garden and has also exhibited internationally, winning many awards. We have been inspired and delighted with her choice of sculptures and artists.
Taking a radical new approach to the exhibition, Almuth has directly approached artists who she believes reflect her chosen theme 'Interesting Times' – a reference to an Ancient Chinese proverb. Working across a diverse range of techniques these artists have responded in very different ways and we hope this approach will stimulate debate and raise awareness of the complex and ever-changing world in which we live.
The Curator has thoughtfully selected and placed all the works in sites that not only encourage us to compare and contrast sculptures but also draw attention to particular planting schemes and sightlines within the Garden.
I do hope that the sculptures will inspire you to visit the Garden again at different times of the day, in different weather conditions and through the seasons to see how it changes as we move from summer into autumn. As the Garden changes colour and plants continue to grow, your perception of the sculptures will also change.
Finally I am very grateful to be able to call upon the expertise of experienced sculptors to curate the exhibition and am very appreciative of the links that have been developed with artists’ studios, the Royal British Society of Sculptors, the Cass Sculpture Foundation, Pangolin Gallery, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and all the individual artists and staff who have made this show possible.
I very much hope that you will enjoy the work that we are delighted to display in the University’s Botanic Garden; a tranquil setting that offers an outstanding open-air gallery that allows visitors to be connected to, and enlightened by, a selection of high quality contemporary work.
Professor Sir Robert Burgess