This summer, the Oxford Sculptors Group returns to exhibit on the grounds of Greys Court after a record year in 2021. ‘Sculpture in the Gardens’ at Greys Court will consist of around 150 sculptures by 30 or so artists local to Oxfordshire. They range from small indoor pieces to big outdoor ones: abstract or natural, in a wide range of media like bronze, stone, steel, wood, glass and ceramics and with an equally broad price range.
This year, the show runs from 11 June to 17 July. The Oxford Sculptors Group’s first show at Greys Court took place in 2017, and, except for an interruption due to COVID in 2020, it has been a feature for up to six weeks each summer ever since.
Artist Keith Appleby said, “It is such a beautiful location, and it’s wonderful to have such interesting surroundings. For OSG, the enclosed gardens provide a wonderful backdrop for larger outdoor work, while smaller pieces look great in the historic indoor space of the Cromwellian building, which now has excellent lighting funded by OSG’s first show here.”
There will be sculptures throughout the walled gardens and around the main lawn, with the Cromwellian building and the loggia hosting around 70 small indoor pieces. As well as being able to look at and admire the sculptures, visitors can also purchase any they particularly love and have them delivered or collected after the exhibition has finished.
“The Oxford Sculptors Group exhibition is such a highlight of the year and something our regular visitors, staff, and volunteers all look forward to seeing”, said Jennifer Green, Senior Programming and Partnerships Officer at Greys Court. “Lady Brunner was a long time patron of the arts, and it’s in this spirit we celebrate local art at Greys Court. It’s wonderful to see how the sculptures add a new dimension to the gardens.”
Lady Brunner was born into a family of actors and had a love for the arts and literature. She was chair of the Women’s Institute and closely involved in the Keep Britain Tidy Campaign. Sir Felix and Lady Brunner bought Greys Court in 1937 and gave the house, gardens and estate to the National Trust in 1969.
Sculptor William Hoodless added, “The walled gardens give a sense of individual rooms, like an outdoor gallery. The variety of planting within the gardens helps people to envisage how sculpture could provide interest in harmony with planting in their own gardens.”
New for this year is the opportunity to visit the exhibition after normal opening hours on selected Thursday evenings in June.
On Thursdays 16, 23 and 30 June, visitors can enjoy a summer evening admiring the sculptures in the gardens, with a drink of prosecco on arrival and live sculpture demonstrations. Tickets are £15 per person, with the event running from 5.30pm to 8.00pm (with the last entry at 7.30pm).
The Oxford Sculptors Group was formed in 2002 and now consists of around 90 established sculptors based in Oxfordshire, surrounding counties and beyond. The Group includes many full-time professionals as well as several self-taught artists who have taken up sculpture as an alternative career.
This event is free, but normal admission charges apply for the venue. Visit the National Trust website for prices.