The source of today’s prompt is: ‘Plan a weekend adventure to some place you’ve never been before’.
My weekend is already planned, I’m afraid – necessary admin for my Boys’ Brigade Company, taking my aunt to visit her brother in hospital, chauffeuring my husband to the airport for his latest work trip. But the prompt reminded me of this summer when half of our holiday was spent at home so we decided to treat our home and locality as if we were on holiday and go exploring. Husband and I went out for breakfast in a local garden centre, took long walks, and had leisurely pub lunches. But the most memorable exploring we did was a visit to the Sculpture Park, about a 45 minute drive away, near Churt in Surrey. https://www.thesculpturepark.com/
It’s an amazing place. On the corner of a junction in the proverbial middle of nowhere, there’s a gate in an unremarkable fence. Almost immediately inside, you are confronted by the beautiful, the bizarre, and in some cases, the downright weird.
It’s a collection (all for sale) of modern sculpture: some abstract, some classical, made from a variety of materials, all challenging and prompting a reaction in some way. The collection is constantly changing but during our visit we found a dell with curved iron uprights like the bones of a galley, giant versions of those children’s dinosaur kits that slot together, an enormous hanging wind chime to play, and lifesize rutting stags made entirely from driftwood.
The skill in each piece was immense.
My favourites were probably the driftwood Wyvern on top of a stone temple and the skeletons, which were the first time sculptures have made me laugh.
One thing that was obvious was the care that had gone into placing the sculptures within the natural environment of this parkland. Sculptures hid in the trees waiting to be discovered, stood in the lake in their glory to be admired, followed the line of the stream, peeked from trunks on high – if you didn’t look carefully you’d miss them – and grew up from the ground itself. Art and nature enhanced each other.
The whole effect was stunning. After several hours walking and admiring in equal measure, we had to leave without seeing everything because our heads and eyes were so full.
Thinking about it, perhaps I will find somewhere to explore this weekend after dropping my husband off – maybe I’ll go back to find those sculptures I missed.
(A special thanks to my husband for providing the photos)