An experiment too far? University grounds declared ‘danger zone’ as part of art show
Published by University of Leicester Press Office for University of Leicester in Education and also in Communities
Photomontage of #Mimesis by Nick Turvey.
‘I want to bring beauty together with darker and gutsy elements. Some of the artists’ work I’ve chosen shows a wicked sense of humour- sculptor and curator Almuth Tebbenhoff
Visitors to the University of Leicester’s botanic garden this summer will be forgiven for thinking they have stumbled into a science experiment gone wrong.
A sinister garden shed adorned with “restricted area” signs and skull and crossbones markings will be one of the unsettling installations to feature in the University’s latest outdoor sculpture exhibition.
‘Interesting Times’, the University of Leicester’s eleventh annual Sculpture in the Garden exhibition, will see the botanic garden – which is also used by the University for bioscience research – turned into a laboratory for experiments in art.
An ominous shed, which emits strange sounds and smells, is part of a series by award-winning sculptor Nick Turvey, and will be exhibited alongside pieces by other sculptors including a larger than life bronze man suspended in space and a set of granite bulbs erupting from the ground like upended mines.
The Sculpture in the Garden show has been curated by sculptor Almuth Tebbenhoff and will bring together work by 16 celebrated artists including William Tucker, RA; Katherine Gili, Eilis O'Connell, David Worthington, Sean Henry.
Tebbenhoff, an elected Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, said: “I’m using part of the botanical garden as it was designed to be used; as a laboratory for experiments. People enjoy the romantic aspect of a garden, but I want to balance that to show that nature can be cruel and unpredictable at the same time as being beautiful.
“I want to bring beauty together with darker and gutsy elements. Some of the artists’ work I’ve chosen shows a wicked sense of humour.”
Located in Oadby, three miles south-east of Leicester city centre, the University’s diverse botanical garden has been used for scientific research and education since it was established in 1947. The unique 16-acre site houses an arboretum, herb garden, water garden, and a series of glasshouses.
The annual sculpture exhibition attracts around 30,000 people every year, and has hosted over 380 sculptures since its inception.
“The University is maintaining its commitment to supporting the arts,” says Leicester’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Robert Burgess. “The Garden offers artists an inspirational space in which to exhibit, and we are delighted to welcome such a prestigious group of sculptors this year.”
A press preview will be held on Saturday 30th June. ‘Interesting Times’ will open to the public on Sunday 1st July and will run until Sunday 28th October 2012. Entrance is free except on particular event days – on Sunday 1 July, there is a Plant Sale and Family Day, entrance £3.50 per adult.
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