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Sparks will fly at this year’s Botanic Garden Art and Sculpture Festival

Freedom by Kate Newlyn

Tony Ingarfield from Bringsty Forge Blacksmiths

Press release issued: 30 March 2015

An original metal sculptural plant form will be created over the Easter weekend by a working forge during the University of Bristol’s Botanic Garden Art and Sculpture Festival. The unique sculpture called ‘Callabora ferratum ‘Bringstii’ will be crafted by Bringsty Forge Blacksmiths - Tony Ingarfield, Adrian Legge and Henry Pomfret.

The Art and Sculpture Festival will take place from Good Friday [April 3] to Easter Monday [April 6] from 10 am to 5 pm. 

Celtic giants, Flanders poppies, Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’, bronzed Greek heroes and exotic tropical flowers are just a few of the sculptures that will be sited in strategic positions around the garden forming a sculpture trail.  Each area has been carefully chosen to create a site of unique character in which the artists will display their work. 

The Botanic Garden, with its constantly changing natural light and backdrop of architectural plants, colours and textures, is a perfect environment to display both traditional and modern sculpture.  This year’s sculptors include Karen Edwards, Jude Goss, Julian P. Warren, Adele Christensen, Jitka Palmer, Emma Jean Kemp, Aurora Pozniakow, Willa Ashworth and Ian Marlow.

Two other sculptors, new to the garden, are self-taught, local sculptor, Kate Newlyn and stone figurative sculptor, Dan Broadley.

Nicholas Wray, Curator of the Botanic Garden, said: “The natural world has inspired the artists to make the varied and innovative pieces of artwork that will be on show at the exhibition. I am delighted that the Botanic Garden environment has provided so much opportunity and enjoyment for these local artists to display their work.

“Some of the artwork will be made during the exhibition, which together with the garden bursting into life will create the perfect environment for visitors to enjoy.”

Around 30 local artists, both amateur and professional, will be exhibited. The work on display ranges from detailed illustrations to the abstract, using a wide range of mediums and styles. Previous art exhibitions have proved very popular, with sales of a wide range of pictures, prints and cards.

Artist, Sheena Vallely, who has exhibited in London, Berlin and Dublin and has also had work commissioned by London’s National Theatre and The Pogues is exhibiting at the Garden for the first time along with another new artist Vivienne Baker.

Other artists include local artist, Clare Wyatt and Jacqui Habgood-Hall, a Bristol-based artist who specialises in watercolour and mixed media paintings of floral subjects. Jacqui has recently completed a commission for paintings to be displayed in the new Southmead Hospital.

Conny Ridge, born and raised in Holland has produced an Indonesian Batik painting called ‘Flanders poppies’, which will be on display at the festival.   The painting was inspired from the stories of Flanders and her own father, who died in the Second World War and who walked back through France and Belgium to a prison camp after being made prisoner of war by the Germans after a failed attempt of escape at Dunkirk.

There will be plenty during the Easter weekend for families to enjoy.  Children will be able to take part in willow weaving with Maya Wolfe, who will be at the festival on Easter Sunday [5 April] and Easter Monday [6 April].

The Art and Sculpture Festival at the University of Bristol Botanic Garden will take place from Good Friday, 3 April until Easter Monday, 6 April from 10 am to 5 pm. Refreshments, tours of the garden and demonstrations will be available.

Entry to the Botanic Garden Art and Sculpture Festival is £4.50 adults; free to University staff and retired staff, Friends of the Botanic Garden, students and children under 16.

Further information

About the Botanic Garden

The Botanic Garden has a strong evolutionary theme and cultivates over 4,500 plant species forming four core collections that illustrate plant evolution, plants from Mediterranean climates, useful plants and rare and threatened native plants to the Bristol area. 

Star attractions include an amazing dell demonstrating the evolution of land plants including the dinosaurs’ favourite plants: ginkgos, cycads, tree ferns, monkey puzzles and Wolly, the Wollemi Pine.  Other delights include the Chinese and Western herb gardens and an inspiring display of plants illustrating floral diversity. 

Opening times for the Botanic Garden:

April and May.  Open Monday to Friday and Sunday from 10 am to 4.30pm.

June, July, August and September.  Open Monday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4.30 pm.

Admission is £4.50 adults; free to University staff and retired staff, Friends of the Botanic Garden, students and children under 16.

Teas will be available on the terrace every Sunday from Easter until the end of September for Garden visitors, served from the Devers room in the Holmes.

Dogs (except registered disability assistance dogs) are not permitted in the Botanic Garden.

The Garden is largely accessible for wheelchairs and mobility scooters with a designated path leading around the Garden and glasshouses. Disabled toilet facilities are available on site.

The garden also offers private day, evening and weekend guided tours for groups of ten upwards and gardening or any other leisure clubs.  Please contact the garden for further information.  There is a charge for the guide.

Directions to the Botanic Garden

From the city centre go to the top of Whiteladies Road, at the junction and traffic lights go straight ahead across Durdham Down towards Stoke Bishop. At the traffic lights go straight ahead and take the first turning on the right into Stoke Park Road, The Botanic Garden at the Holmes is 150 metres on the right.

Members of the public wishing to support the work of the Botanic Garden should join the Friends of the Garden. For more information go to the Friends of the Botanic Garden or write to Susan Redfern, The Membership Secretary, 24 Dublin Crescent, Henleaze, Bristol BS9 4NA.

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