Weekend Wandering: Avebury Manor
It's time for a proper wander around the gardens at Avebury Manor and where better to start than in the Monks' Garden, where the sunshine on the day of our visit helps to dispel the gloom of today's wet and windy weather.
Most people visit Avebury to see the stone circle, which is indeed our usual port of call; this time we sidestepped them as I'd heard there's a sculpture exhibition in the Manor's gardens I was keen to see. A visit here is also worthwhile, as it's slightly different for a National Trust property. It's more hands-on than usual and you can even dress up there if you want to!
I find myself increasingly drawn to glass art and the work of Yvette Green and Jeannette Therrien in the Monks' Garden didn't disappoint. Their work had been placed carefully to match the themed colours of the garden's beds and many of the designs were inspired by nature.
The Manor's gardens consist of 9 'rooms' and visitors have extra encouragement to move from one area to another by the placement of some of the sculptures. I loved this one by Kay Singla which took us into the South Lawn.
Inspired by Avebury and Chinese Neolithic Bi-disks, these are 'Cosmic Circles' by Maria Alvarez Echenique. This was an ever changing installation in the breeze and the circles themselves had a satisfying ring when struck gently. I'm not sure how these would fare in winter though.
Elsewhere in this part of the garden I enjoyed Diccon Dadey's lifelike birds and Phil Hinton's tactile wood.
The placement of Christine Baxter's lifelike hares in the Orchard was just right. The fruit trees in this area are relatively young, so this is a part of the garden which is set to develop nicely with time.
I was surprised that the walkway between the Orchard and Half Moon gardens lacked a focal point sculpture, though seeing all the work is on sale, I might have just missed it.
We exit today's tour via Anthony Rogers' flame-like organic tree sculptures. I've seen these (or similar) previously at Lacock Abbey, in addition to this Friday Bench.
You can see these and more at Avebury Manor until October 13th. There are works by 24 artists in all kinds of media to enjoy.
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