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Art in the Garden at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens
AS you walk between trees and flowerbeds you may find yourself confronted by a giant spider.
In the pond a metallic lily pad is glistening, while elsewhere birds are frozen in motion.
It sounds like the kind of thing Alice might have stumbled upon down the rabbit hole – but actually, this is in the heart of Hampshire.
The works are all part of the 13th annual Art in the Garden show at the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Romsey.
The exhibition, which runs until October 28, features the work of more than 30 artists, including a number from the local area.
It includes work in a range of materials, including wood, glass, recycled cans, bronze, stainless steel, ceramics and marble resin, with more than 100 separate pieces on show.
Among the artists taking part is Amanda Moore from Eastleigh.
“This is the first year I have exhibited work at Sir Harold Hillier’s Art in the Garden,” she says.
“It’s a great opportunity to showcase sculptural work within a unique setting.
Exhibiting my large mechanical structure, Galloping Machine, underneath a canopy of tall pine trees has given it a more imposing presence which it has lacked when shown in a gallery space.”
It is also the first time artist and carpenter David Smith from Colden Common is taking part in the show.
Having previously had his art displayed in a church, he is excited to have his work on show in another unusual setting.
“I particularly like to have the art displayed where people are least expecting it, so they almost stumble on it,” he says.
“My work is quite contemporary and I usually make it to fit venues. The Pebble piece does not conform to the surroundings but I think it fits well within it.”
David’s piece is made out of salvaged material left over from other projects.
This year the exhibition’s “featured artist” is Ian Marlow, who creates beautifully crafted steel flowers.
The flowers are inspired by the natural world but given a twist and interact perfectly with the plants that surround them.
“The texture he adds to the steel sculptures makes them shimmer playfully,” says Jo Field, visitor support supervisor at the gardens.
“As the daylight changes and the seasons alter they cleverly pick up the colours from their surroundings in a very subtle and beautiful way. These dynamic sculptures draw the viewer’s attention and entice them to walk deeper into the gardens to discover more.”