CHRIS FREMANTLE

Sculpture Parks and Gardens

Posted in CF Writing, Sited work by chrisfremantle on August 14, 2009

International Directory of Sculpture Parks and Gardens

New resource developed out of Cameron Cartiere’s research.  The section on Scotland includes Galloway Forest, Glenkilns, Jupiter Artland, Little Sparta and Tyrebagger.  No reference to those that are gone, including Cramond and Glenshee.

The category Sculpture Parks and Gardens raises a few conceptual challenges and complexities.  Because ‘public art’ is associated with regeneration and the creative city, it has gain far more bureaucratic currency and also funding.  Is a group of work by a number of artists in the landscape a public art project or a sculpture park?  Is a landscape made by artists a sculpture park?

So some other possible inclusions:

Place of Origin though I’d say its a park as sculpture rather than a sculpture park? see essay in writing.
Place of Origin
Kemnay
Aberdeenshire

Yet to be completed is Arthur Watson’s Reading the Landscape, a collaborative scheme developed with Will MacLean, Lei Cox, Stanley Robertson and others for CairnGorm Mountain.  All the works are intended to contributing to a cultural understanding of the landscape as lived in and used.
CairnGorm Mountain Ltd,
Cairn Gorm Ski Area,
Aviemore
PH22 1RB
tel: +44 (0)1479 861261,

I was very pleased to see Glenkilns included, but I wondered why Charles Jencks and Maggie Keswick’s Gardens at Portrack House, Dumfries were not included?  Best reference I can suggest is http://www.gardensofscotland.org/garden.aspx?id=c2a160c8-f9fc-4306-95d0-9c0300966100 It’s only open once a year for Scotland’s Gardens Scheme, usually first weekend in May.
Portrack House
Holywood
Dumfries
DG2 0RW

And you cannot leave out the Hidden Gardens behind the Tramway as a new and award winning ‘art garden.’  The Hidden Gardens are a project of NVA, and are a focus for intercultural dialogue and shared experiences.  Very much driven by community focused activities in a brilliant space.
The Hidden Gardens
Tramway
25 Albert Drive
Glasgow G41 2PE
0141 433 2722
http://www.thehiddengardens.org.uk/

There is a group of works by Ronald Rae in the grounds of Roselle House/the Maclaurin Trust in Ayr.  I understand that they were made as part of a Manpower Services project in 1979 http://www.ronaldrae.co.uk/
Roselle House Galleries
Roselle Park
Monument Road
Ayr KA7 4NQ

Finally the Scottish Sculpture Workshop in Aberdeenshire has a Sculpture Walk
Lumsden
Aberdeenshire
AB54 4JN
01464 861372

See also thoughts on Sculpture Parks after visiting Centre international d’art et du paysage de l’île de Vassivière.

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What art have I seen?

Posted in CF Writing, Sited work by chrisfremantle on July 24, 2008

Centre international d’art et du paysage de l’île de Vassivière

Some images at Flickr
Vassiviere is listed on the ISC‘s web site as one of the few sculpture parks in France. It describes itself variously as ‘a centre for art and nature’, ‘art and the counryside’, and ‘a centre for land art’. It has a few internationally known artists (Goldsworthy, Pistoletto and the Kabakovs) and many French artists; I found a work by Brad Goldberg, who collaborated on Place of Origin, and work by Roland Cognet who had worked at SSW and seems to have had a one person show at Vassiviere,

This place is interesting; having come about as a result of a major hydro-electric scheme, it conceptually raises issues of our relationship to our environment and our tendency to manipulate it in order to extract benefit. It has real character, but it suffers from neither owning its history, nor clearly adressing its apparent mission.

It has a mixed bag of sculptures that make up the park – some the result of a sculpture symposium in the early 80s. More recent and jokey post modern works are also incorporated. The gallery seems to work in partnership with some high profile institutions like the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. The building by Aldo Rossi is striking.

But there is a lack of clarity – there are cornerstone international works, but I couldn’t discern a curatorial strategy. Likewise I guess that the works by French artists are significant, but I didn’t get a sense of a collection of work of significant French sculptors (or artists working in three dimensions on an outdoor scale). This would be a good project in itself.

The work by Samakh is a good response to a natural event, but the replanting of an area of forest to promote biodiversity is not radical.

Thinking about the work of Littoral in particular, but also of PLATFORM, and others involved in dialogic practices, there are so many ways in which this amazing place could speak of itself. Funnily enough it is Goldsworthy who draws attention to the drowned land, but for instance the larger ecological landscape is not drawn out.

But as it stands it clearly has a history of being a centre for sculpture during the second half of the 20th century, and is trying to redefine itself. Using the gallery to do this is OK, but in the end it remains in conflict with the permanently sited work which speaks of a previous project.

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