William Morris’ Red House in Bexleyheath


bexleyheath  bexleyheath

Architecture in Bexleyheath


Although I live in London, there are still many areas of the city that I am unfamiliar with or have never been to. I have long wanted to visit William Morris‘ former residence Red House in Bexleyheath, but somehow never got round to it. Since August is a quiet period, I decided to venture out to the SE part of Greater London on a sunny day.

To my surprise, the town centre of bexleyheath has some interesting historic buildings like Trinity Baptist Chapel (1868) and Christ Church (1872–7), and it feels more ‘Kent’ than London. After a 15-minute walk from Bexleyheath train station, I reached the National Trust-run heritage building and garden in a quiet residential area. With my National Art pass, I was able to get free entry and arrived in time for the guided tour.


red house

red house william morris  red house william morris


Commissioned in 1859 by William Morris, founder of the Arts & Crafts movement, Red House was designed by his friend and architect Philip Webb which completed in 1860. At the time, Upton was a hamlet on Bexley Heath, a largely picturesque area dotted with cottages, medieval ruins, and Tudor mansion (Hall Place). Intended as a post-wedding house for him and his new wife Jane, Morris financed the project with money inherited from his wealthy family, and dreamed of the house becoming a ‘Palace of Art’, a place where his artist friends could decorate the walls with stories of medieval legends. Influenced by Medievalism and Medieval-inspired Neo-Gothic styles, the building was constructed based on Morris‘ ethos of craftsmanship and artisan skills, which later became known as the Arts and Crafts movement.


red house william morris

red house william morris  red house william morris

red house william morris

red house william morris

red house william morris

red house william morris


Summer is definitely a good time to visit the house and garden, and since it was during the week and summer holiday period, there were very few visitors during my visit. Before entering the house, I spent some time walking around the north side of the 2-acre garden, and it made me feel at ease immediately.

Red House garden was first laid out over 150 years ago and successive owners have put their own stamp on the garden. The garden was important to Morris, hence he and Philip Webb put a lot of thought into the design of the garden. They wanted it to ‘clothe the house’ to soften the effect of the startling red brick. Little of the original garden design remains, so Red House’s head gardener Robert Smith and his team embarked on an ambitious project to re-introduce some of the spirit of Morris’s ‘lost garden’.


red house william morris

red house william morris  red house william morris

red house william morris

red house william morris  red house william morris


Inside the house, it was Philip Webb who designed most of the furniture, while Morris, Jane, and his friend/painter Edward Burne-Jones designed all the furnishings including windows, wallpaper and tiles. Their collaborative works paid tribute to medieval craftsmanship, for example the glass in the gallery features flowers painted by Morris painted flowers, birds painted by Webb, overlaid with Burne Jones‘ work depicting Fortuna. On some windows (see the round one below) and tiles, inscriptions of Morris‘ motto: ‘Si je puis” (if I can) can also be seen.

Another notable piece of furniture is a settle-cum-cupboard in the landing designed by Webb, with door panels painted by Morris which depict a scene from Malory entitled ‘Sir Lancelot bringing Sir Tristram and the Belle Iseult to Joyous Gard‘. The picture features Edward Burne-Jones offering cherries to his wife Georgie and Janey Morris and with Morris’ servant, ‘Red Lion Mary’ in the background.


red house william morris

red house william morris  red house william morris


Orginal architcetural plans and belongings of Morris are exhibited in one of the rooms on the ground floor.


red house william morris

red house william morris  red house william morris

red house william morris

red house william morris

Dining room


red house william morris

red house william morris  red house william morris

red house william morris

red house william morris


As visitors walk up to the first and second floor, they can admire Morris‘ patterned wallpaper which covers the ceiling suppored by wooden beams. In a small room on the first floor, there is a catalogue of Morris & Co‘s archive wallpapers. In 1862, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co began to design woodblock-printed wallpaper for the house, thus Morris & Co was born, a company still exists today producing wallpaper and textiles based on Morris‘ designs and ethos.


red house william morris

red house william morris  red house william morris

red house william morris  red house william morris

red house william morris  red house william morris


On the second floor, there is a drawing room which showcases an original built-in settle, and a fireplace painted with Morris’s motto: “Ars Longa, Vita Brevis” (Life is short, art is forever). On the sides of the settle are murals painted by Pre-Raphaelite artist/his friend, Edward Burne-Jones depicting the 15th century marriage feast of of Sir Degrevan.

Although the structure of the house was not altered, many of the original furnishings and wallpaper were either removed or painted over. Hence, the wallpaper in some of the rooms are simply reproductions of Morris‘ original designs. Since there is a sharp contrast between the murals and the surprisingly ‘modern-looking’ yellow polka dot patterned wallpaper on the ceiling, it made me wonder if the latter was added on during the restoration.


red house william morris

red house william morris  red house william morris

red house william morris

red house william morris  red house william morris


In 2013, the National Trust discovered a mural hidden behind a large built-in wardrobe on Morris‘s bedroom wall. The near-lifesize figures on the wall are believed to be the joint efforts of Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, his wife Elizabeth Siddal, Ford Madox Brown and Morris. The figures are from the Bible, which include Rachel, Noah holding a model ark, Adam and Eve, and Jacob with his ladder, and they were painted as if hanging on fabric.


red house william morris

The rediscovered mural by William Morris, Jane and other young pre-Raphaelites


Sadly, after five years living in their dream house, Morris, his wife and his two young daughters had to sell the house due to financial difficulties. Morris never returned to visit the Red House again, but described the five years as being “probably the happiest and not the least fruitful of his life.”

Over the years, the house changed ownerships quite a few times and was threatened to be demolished until it was designated a Grade I listed building by English Heritage in 1950. Since the National Trust took over the house and garden in 2003, research and efforts were made to restore and conserve the house to its original condition.


red house william morris  red house william morris

red house william morris

red house william morris

red house william morris

red house william morris

red house william morris

red house william morris

red house william morris


Besides the house, I particularly enjoyed spending time in the garden surrounded by flowers and fruit trees and vegetables. After touring the house and garden, I had a coffee at the cafe’s outdoor seating area and left feeling jolly and energised. Maybe good design and nature are two of the elements that we need in our lives to make us happy; though Morris did not get to spend much time here, thanks to him, we are now able to appreciate his vision and legacy as a revoluntionary designer and entrepreneur.


LCW 19: Creative Inspiration Walk – Text in the City

black friar pub


How many of us pay attention to the text and typography around us in the city? When we are rushing around the city, we tend to miss what is right under our noses. During the London Craft week, I joined the “Creative Inspiration Walk: Text in the City” organised by The Goldsmiths’ Centre and City of London. The two-hour walk explored the city’s lettering heritage and craftsmanship focusing on engraving and carving of text.

Our meeting point was Blackfriars station, and right opposite the station is the Grade II listed Art Nouveau The Black Friar pub built in 1875, and remodelled in about 1905 by the architect Herbert Fuller-Clark. Much of the internal decoration was done by the sculptors Frederick T. Callcott and Henry Poole. I have always been fascinated by the facade of this pub, especially by the mosiac y the mosaic type and wonderful metal signage outside. Although this stop was not part of the walk, I thought it is apt to include it here.


The Blackfriar pub

The Blackfriar pub

The Blackfriar pub

The Blackfriar pub

The Black Friar Pub


The first stop of the walk was located in the new concourse of the station. Fifty four stones from the original Victorian station, each engraved with destinations served by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LCDR), have been preserved and relocated. The stones list destinations as diverse as Bickley, Marseille, Gravesend and Venice, as the LCDR advertised Blackfriars’ links to towns and cities of the south east, and the business capitals of Europe via cross-channel steamers. These blocks were removed from top to bottom, one-by-one, by chiselling the mortar joints between each stone. The lightest stone weighs 54 kg and the heaviest stone about 120 kg. The lettering on the sandstone was gilded with 24 carat gold leaf before it was rebuilt in the new location.


The 54 inscribed stones inside Blackfriars stationThe 54 inscribed stones inside Blackfriars station

The 54 inscribed stones inside Blackfriars station


From one of the station’s platform exits, we were led to a rather grey and gloomy concrete square outside of the brutalist British Telecom owned office building called the Baynard House. Surprisingly, in the middle of the empty square stands The Seven Ages of Man, a 22-foot cast aluminium sculpture by British typeface designer, stone letter carver and sculptor, Richard Kindersley. The sculpture was commissioned by Post Office Telecommunications and unveiled in April 1980.

Inspired by William Shakespeare‘s pastoral comedy As You Like It, in which a monologue is spoken in Act II Scene VII Line 139. The speech compares the world to a stage and life to a play and catalogues the seven stages of a man’s life, sometimes referred to as the seven ages of man.

The high column features seven sculpted heads, stacked in totem pole fashion, on top of each other. The youngest is at the bottoms and it gets older as you progress up the column; on the pedestal, Shakespeare’s verses are inscribed around it.

This is a fantastic piece of sculpture, but its odd and hidden location is unlikely to draw passerby’s attention (unless they look up from the street level). It is certainly a hidden gem in the City of London.


The Seven Ages of ManThe Seven Ages of Man

The Seven Ages of ManThe Seven Ages of Man

The Seven Ages of Man


We then walked towards the river bank, and under the Millennium bridge stands The Millennium Measure designed by British sundial maker, hand-engraver & sculptor, Joanna Migdal in 2002. The Millennium Measure measures is the gift of the court & livery of the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers to the City of London in commemoration of the millennium. It comprises a 3 sided, 2 metre (2M = 2000MM) rule depicting two thousand years of history of the City, the Church and the craft of scientific instrument making. The initials ‘MM’ stand for ‘Millennium Measure’, ‘millimetre’ and ‘two thousand’ in Roman numerals.


london river


Millennium Measure Millennium Measure

Millennium Measure Millennium Measure

Millennium Measure

The Millennium Measure


Although I have walked past St Paul’s Cathedral many times before, I have never paid much attention to the public art outside of it. To my surprise, on the pavement at the western end of the churchyard is a floor-plan of the pre-Fire Cathedral with an outline of the present one superimposed on it. Designed by Richard Kindersley (see above), the 7m long installation is made of various Purbeck marbles and Welsh Slate. The outlines were created through the use of waterjet technology, which enabled the stone to be inset in a manner which would either be impossible or prohibitively expensive if done by hand. The inscription around the border was hand carved into the stone, noting the Great fire of London in 1666 that destroyed much of the medieval City of London.

On the other side of the Cathdral at the west end of the Festival Gardens, there is a bust of the English Poet and Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, John Donne by the sculptor Nigel Boonham. Underneath the bust feature lettering by one of UK’s foremost letter carvers, Andrew Whittle.


st paul's cathedral

Richard Kindersleyst Pauls cathedral Richard Kindersley andrew whittle

andrew whittle

st paul's cathedral  st paul's cathedral


On the northside of the Cathedral, there is another installation by Richard Kindersley called People of London. It is a memorial to the people of London who died in the blitz 1939 — 1945. Carved from a three ton block of Irish limestone, the memorial has large carved letters and gilded around the edge reading: “REMEMBER BEFORE GOD THE PEOPLE OF LONDON 1939 — 1945”. On top is a spiral inscription written by Sir Edward Marsh and used by Churchill as a front piece to his history ‘The Second World War’.


People of London

People of London

People of London memorial 


Not far from St Paul’s, we visited the enchanting Christchurch Greyfriars Church Garden, which is situated on the site of the Franciscan Church of Greyfriars, established in 1225. Destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666 it was rebuilt by Christopher Wren, but later destroyed all but the west tower in WWII. It was decided not to rebuild the church and some land was lost to road widening in the 1960s. The present rose garden was laid out on the site in 1989 with rose beds and box hedges outlining the nave of Wren’s church, with wooden towers representing the pillars that held up the roof.

At the garden, a new public art installation (2017) was created to commemorate Christ’s Hospital School’s 350 years presence in the City of London, 1552-1902. The installation is a 2.4m long bronze sculpture by renowned sculptor, Andrew Brown, casted at The Bronze Age Foundry in London. It was selected following an open competition organised by the City of London Corporation, and it is positioned close to where Christ’s Hospital was originally founded in Newgate Street.




img_4394-min  img_4391-min


Nearby, there is another well-hidden small garden called The Goldsmiths Garden. It is located on the site of the churchyard and medieval church of St John Zachary, which was damaged in the Great Fire. The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths (also known as the Goldsmiths’ company) had acquired land here in 1339, and built the earliest recorded Livery Hall. After part of the Company’s property was demolished in WWII, the site was first laid out as a garden in 1941, redesigned in later years. A central fountain was installed in 1995 and the ‘Three Printers’ sculpture (1957) by Wilfred Dudeney was relocated from New Street Square in 2009 in the sunken garden.

Commissioned for New Street Square by the Westminster Press Group, the sculpture represents the newspaper process, with a newsboy, a printer and an editor. The printer (the figure on the left) is holding a “stick” which contains the metal type spelling out of the sculptor’s surname. This piece is Britain’s only public monument to newspapers. However, when the area was redeveloped, the sculpture was removed and ended up in a scrapyard in Watford. Luckily, It was rescued by the writer Christopher Wilson, who persuaded the Goldsmiths’ Company to reinstall the sculpture.

Another interesting feature at this garden is that several golden leopards heads can be seen at the entrance. The leopard’s head is actually the company’s symbol. There is also an arch presented to the Goldsmiths by the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths. Designed by Paul Allen, the arch incorporates the London Assay mark for gold in the shape of individually made leopards heads.


The Goldsmiths Garden

The Goldsmiths GardenThe Goldsmiths Garden

The Goldsmiths Garden

The Goldsmiths Garden

'Three Printers' sculpture formerly in New Street Square, installed in St John Zachary Garden, May 2010.

The Goldsmiths Garden


A large (but easily-missed) metal memorial ‘Aldersgate Flame’ stands outside of the Museum of London was erected in 1981. On the face of the memorial are enlarged facsimile extracts in cast bronze of Anglican clergyman, evangelist, and co-founder of the Methodist movement in the Church of England. John Wesley’s account of the events of Wednesday May 24th 1738, as described in his original printed text of the first edition of John Wesley’s Journal. On the back of the Memorial are the names of the three local tradesmen concerned with Wesley in the production and marketing of the Journal.


Aldersgate FlameAldersgate Flame

Aldersgate Flame


I am not sure how many Londoners are aware of the competition-winning sculptured stone bench (erected in 2006) at the circular Smithfield Rotunda Garden. Designed by Sam Dawkins and Donna Walker from Edinburgh University, the bench is inscribed with text and quotes relating to the history of the area, and the carving process was managed by apprentice stone masons from Cathedral Works Organisation in Chichester.

However, it is hard to read the inscribed text, and the bench looks out of place here. Most passerby would ignore it and choose to sit on the wooden benches instead, which is a shame.


img_4427-min  img_4428-min


Finally, before finishing at the Goldsmiths’ Centre, we stopped at Turnmill Street in  Farringdon, outside of a building to look at the inscribed letters above. Built in 1874, the building was formerly the premises of Ludwig Oertling, whose firm ‘manufacturers of bullion chemical and assay balances and hydrometer makers’ remained there until the 1920s. Although the premise is now occupied by Spanish restaurant, the inscribed lettering remains above it.


long lane


farringdon station



As always, I learned a lot about London’s history during the two-hour walk, which is why I love joining guided walks in different parts of the city. It also encourages us to observe more as we wander around the city. There is so much to explore in London, and all you need is curiosity and awareness.



Heath Robinson Museum in Pinner



Even if you are a born-and-bred Londoner, it is likely that there are neighbourhoods that you have yet to visit. I have heard of Pinner before, but to my surprise, I have never actually visited this village before. Located in north of Harrow in zone 5, it is not somewhere Londoners would pass by unless you live around the area. Soon after I got out of the tube station, I felt like I was visiting a village outside of London, and I was captivated by the historic buildings along the high street.

Yet, the purpose of my trip was not to see the architecture, but to visit the Heath Robinson Museum, which opened at the end of 2016.







Located in the picturesque Pinner Memorial Park, this new museum is dedicated the English artist, illustrator, humorist and social commentator, William Heath Robinson (1872–1944), who was a long term resident of Pinner.

Aside from a permanent collection, there are also temporary exhibitions being held regularly and the current one is ‘Heath Robinson’s World of advertising‘ (until 18th Feb).


heath robinson musuem

heath Robinson museum


heath robinson musuem  heath robinson




If you are unfamiliar with Heath Robinson‘s work, then I urge you to visit this museum and learn more about this talented and unconventional artist.

Although he had always wanted to be a landscape painter, it was his humorous drawings, illustrations and cartoons that brought him fame and recognition. He was also well-known for his illustrated children’s books, and at the museum, you can see his diverse skills and engrossing styles in drawings and illustrations.






heath robinson   heath robinson



One of my favourites is his series of “How to . . .” books which established his as The Gadget King. It began with the humourous How to live in a Flat (1936), followed by being a Perfect Husband, a Motorist, and Making a Garden Grow. Heath Robinson was an imaginative inventor, and you would find all sorts of weird and wonderful gadgets and mechanics in his drawings that are similar to some of the gadgets we use today. He was quite a visionary.


heath robinson museum  heath robinson


Heath Robinson’s World of advertising‘ exhibition


Although the museum is quite small, it is well-designed with interesting architectural details and a good museum shop. The museum is only open from Thursday – Sunday (11am – 4pm), so do plan ahead if you decide to pay a visit.





pinner  pinner


pinner  pinner




The historic architecture in Pinner






London Mithraeum & St Stephen Walbrook

bloomsberg space

Bloomberg Space in the City of London


Most Londoners are aware of London’s Roman history, and that most of the Roman archaeological sites are buried underneath the City of London, London’s historic financial district. However, not many knew about a Roman temple ruin that was rediscovered by chance on a bomb site in 1952-54 during the construction of the Bucklersbury House. Later, the temple was dismantled and reconstructed – inaccurately – 100 metres from its original site to the car park roof at Temple Court ( I wonder how many Londoners had visited this site?).

After the demolition of the Bucklersbury House, the site was purchased by Bloomberg in 2010, and the company decided to restore The Temple of Mithras to its original site as part of their new European headquarters designed by Foster + Partners. Originally constructed around AD 240, the Temple of Mithras was finally restored close to its original position and level, which is seven metres below modern street level and by the – now subterranean – River Walbrook. Aside from the restoration work, Museum of London Archaeology also led a team of over 50 archaeologists and excavated the site between 2010-14. They recovered more than 14,000 artifacts, including a large assembly of tools.


isabel nolan



Top row: Isabel Nolan’s installtions at Bloomberg space: ‘Another View from Nowhen’; 2nd & bottom rows: around 600 items Roman artifacts are on display


In early November, the free cultural hub opened its doors to the public, and visitors could book a time slot to visit via the London Mithraeum website. On the ground level, there is an art gallery space showcasing contemporary art work, and a vast array of Roman artifacts excavated from the site. Apart from on-site guides, visitors are also given ipads explaining the functions of these items.

Then we were led down the stairs to a waiting area where we could learn more about the temple and its origin. When we were finally allowed to descend down into the pitch black and smoky temple space, there was a sense anticipation among the visitors. Slowly, the room started to light up while a soundscape of chanting, bells and horns was added to enhance the multi-sensory experience.


London Mithraeum  London Mithraeum






The Cult of Mithras was a mystery religion centered around the the Indo-Iranian deity Mithras, which was practised in the Roman Empire from about the 1st to the 4th century CE. The temples of Mithras were always an underground cave, featuring a relief of Mithras killing the bull. It’s all-male membership was drawn from soldiers, merchants and freeman who travelled widely through the Roman Empire. It is believed members gathered in windowless temples to drink and perform rituals and animal sacrifices naked in the dark, illuminated by torchlight. I wonder if this is what the Scientologists do when they get together?

I think Bloomberg has done a remarkable job of restoring the temple and in creating a mysterious atmosphere and immersive experience once inside the temple space. Best of all, it is free and visitors (both locals and tourists) can learn a great deal about the history of Roman London.



img_6513  img_6505


After the visit of the temple, I walked past the nearby St Stephen Walbrook and decided to go inside to take a look. Interestingly, the church’s history is intertwined with the nearby temple of Mithras. The original church of St Stephen was built on the Mithraic foundations on the west side of River Walbrook between 700 to 980 A.D, but was moved to its present site, on the east side of the river (by then, it was no longer a river) in 15th century.

In 1666, the church was burnt down at the Great fire of London. After the fire, the English anatomist, astronomer, geometer, mathematician, physicist and architect Sir Christopher Wren was commissioned to design and rebuild 52 churches within the city including St Stephen Walbrook and St Paul’s Cathedral. The constructions of the church started in 1672 and completed in 1679; this was his prototype for the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, and the first classical dome to be built in England at the time.




img_6510  img_6512



I am surprised that I have never visited this Grade I listed church before – it is a stunning masterpiece. Unexpectedly in the middle of the historic church stands an 8-ton white polished stone altar commissioned from the artist/sculptor Henry Moore by churchwarden and property developer Lord Peter Palumbo in 1972 during the restoration of the church after it was badly damage during The Blitz in 1941. The controversial altar was considered unsuitable until it was approved by The Court of Ecclesiastical Causes Reserved of the Church of England.

Later in 1993, a circle of brightly coloured kneelers designed by abstract painter Patrick Heron was added around the altar. The kneelers were made by Tapisserie, a shop in Chelsea that specialises in fine hand-painted needlework. Personally, I think the minimalist altar blends well with the surroundings, but I am less convinced about the kneelers. Nonetheless, it’s courageous to challenge the conventions, and I am all for breaking the dogmatic rules set by religious authorities.

There are days when I feel fed up with London, but when I discover something new or unusual in the city, it would always bring me joy, excitement and fascination. Sometimes we all have to be more like a tourist in order to see and appreciate the city we live in. Now I can’t wait for my next discovery!


Rebecca Louise Law at Kew Gardens




In the last year or so, I have visited Kew Gardens three times – all thanks to my friend who is a member, hence I was able to get free entry because of her. So, when she enthusiastically informed me about the new botanical installation by London-based artist Rebecca Louise Law , it got me excited again.

We wanted to visit the gardens on a nice day (for a change), but with the unpredictable British weather, it wasn’t exactly an easy task. Although we did meet on a sunny Sat morning, the chill wind was strong and it didn’t help by the fact that we were both slightly under the weather.

Despite that, it was still a joy to walk through Rebecca‘s interactive installation ‘Life in Death’ featuring 1000 garlands of preserved flowers, inspired by the ancient Egyptian funeral garlands of Ramesses II at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery. It is very difficult to capture the installation on camera, you’d have to walk through the room to fully appreciate the delicacy, intricate details and stunning arrangements hanging from the ceiling.


Rebecca Louise law  Rebecca Louise law



Since Rebecca hates waste, she tends to recycle and retain leftover flowers from her installations. This ‘life in death’ installation strives to create ‘life’ from no-longer-fresh-flowers and encourage visitors to appreciate age, nature and the beauty of preserved flowers.

The installation features 375,000 flowers cultivated from across the world, including her entire collection of preserved flowers from the past decade. All the flowers were treated by freezing in Kews’s giant freezer to kill off any potential pests before being turned into garlands. Each of the 1000 garlands took a day to make – luckily, the effort paid off.



Rebecca Louise law  Rebecca Louise law


After seeing the installation, we walked up to the Treetop Walkway to enjoy some autumn foliage. Even though it was rather chilly, it was still pleasant to see the gardens from above. I think the gardens are lovely all year round, but the mix of yellow, brown, green and red colour tones undoubtedly make autumn slightly more endearing than other seasons.



kew gardens  kew gardens







Rebecca Louise Law: Life in Death will be showing at Kew Gardens until 11 March 2018.



The Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden



Ahead of winter, I wanted to take advantage of the mild autumn weather before the cold sets in. After an awe-inspiring trip to Dungeness, I was ready for another mini adventure, and I chose to visit The Hannah Peschar sculpture garden in Surrey before it closed for the winter season.

I have never heard of this garden until recently, and the images I saw online intrigued me immensely. I thought a few miles walk via the public footpath from Ockley station would be quite straight forward, but I was wrong – the first part through the woods was fine, then I got lost in the open field and somehow went off track.








I eventually ended up at The Cricketers Arms, a Grade II listed traditional pub circa 1450 in Ockley. I love the large inglenook fireplace and oak beams, and decided to have lunch here. The friendly staff gave me some directions towards the garden before I set off again.




By the time I reached the office of the sculpture garden, I was already feeling a bit tired. The friendly curator Vikki was surprised to learn that I walked all the way from the station (I guess not many visitors would do that) and offered to give me a lift back before my train’s departure time. Her warmth and kindness immediately made me feel that this garden is not an ordinary one.


 hannah Peschar sculpture park


hannah peschar


This special garden used to be part of a large estate, laid out between 1915 and 1920. Later it was split up and sold in several lots, and the garden fell into decline after the estate was sold. In 1983, art curator Hannah Peschar bought the ten-acre land, which included a grade II listed 15th Century cottage and a large water and rock garden. The garden was subsequently redesigned and replanted by her husband, the award-winning landscape designer Anthony Paul, who introduced many large-leaved plants in bold groups, tall grasses and created 3 new ponds. Over the past 30+ years, the garden has grown from a handful of sculptures to over 200 pieces exhibited every year, featuring artists from the U.K. and Europe.


hannah peschar

hannah Peschar sculpture park  hannah Peschar sculpture park



Later, I learnt from Vikki that her mentor Hannah Peschar decided to step back from her role two years ago, and now the garden is run and curated by her and Anthony Paul. Though Peschar still resides in the lovely ancient cottage, and her husband also has a landscape design office within the garden.




hannah Peschar sculpture park  hannah Peschar sculpture park


Unlike the Yorkshire sculpture park, most of the art works here are available for sale and all visitors are given a map with the list of work and prices upon arrival. The vast array of work varies from figurative to highly abstract, using both traditional and innovative materials. All the sculptures here are placed heedfully so that they would blend harmoniously with nature and other works within the garden.

The garden looked beautiful in spite of the drizzly and misty weather; I particularly love seeing the sculptures against the autumn colours. And I secretly congratulated myself for wearing the correct footwear for a change.




hannah Peschar sculpture park  autumn leaves



Since there were not many visitors during my weekday visit, I was able to enjoy the tranquility that the garden has to offer. The garden is enchanting because you never know what you would encounter as you walk along the trail. There are hidden surprises as the landscape changes; and during the few hours walking in the garden, I felt excited, inspired, intrigued, and contemplative.


hannah Peschar sculpture park  hannah Peschar sculpture park


hannah Peschar sculpture park  hannah Peschar sculpture park


hannah Peschar sculpture park  hannah Peschar sculpture park


Unlike the National trust or English Heritage properties, there is no cafe, picnic area nor souvenir shop here, so it feels somewhat less commercial. When almost every airport in the world has become more like a shopping mall nowadays, I found it a relief to not see a shop/cafe here (although I am sure some people would disagree with me).







When i finished the tour around the garden, Vikki said she would close the garden earlier as it was a quiet day, and we had an interesting chat about art and design as she drove me to the train station. Enviously, I told her that she is lucky to be working in such a wonderful and peaceful environment, and she agreed. She said that the garden looks different in every season and she recommends that I return again next spring/summer.

And yes, I definitely will return again – I can’t wait to see the garden in bloom!


Note: The garden will reopen on 1st April 2018.


Dungeness, Prospect cottage & Hurricane Ophelia



One early October weekend, I was checking the weather forecast on my iPad and it showed that Monday would be sunny. The symbol of the sun somehow triggered an urge in me to go to the seaside. I thought of visiting The Folkestone Triennial, but the photos of some contemporary art installations randomly (or not) placed around the seaside town did not really appeal to me. Then I thought of Derek Jarman‘s Prospect Cottage in Dungeness – a National Nature Reserve that I have wanted to visit for years – and within the next hour, my day return train tickets to Rye were booked.

I had no idea how to get to Dungeness from Rye, and after some frantic search on the internet, I found out that I had to take 2 buses to get to this remote and desolate part of Kent.


shells  the pilot  

the pilot

The Pilot Inn


On the day, with the help of a kind bus driver and a lovely elderly passenger, I arrived outside of The Pilot Inn in Dungeness around lunch time. The pub was surprisingly busy on a Monday afternoon, and after having their famous fish and chips, I began to ramble towards the sea. And soon I found myself alone on the beach. Where were all the people from the pub? It turned out that they all drove to the pub for lunch and left afterwards.

I have read a lot about Dungeness before I arrived, but nothing could prepare me for what I saw and felt while I was there. Dubbed “Britain’s only desert” by the Met Office, the landscape here is truly unique. From the surface, the 468-acre nature estate appears to be barren, it is in fact home to 600 species of plants – a third of all plants found in the UK. And in 2015, the estate was sold to EDF Energy (which owns the nuclear power station on site) for more than £1.5m. And they had been paying up to £100,000 per year to use shingle to protect the power station from the sea!

Yes, I had expected to see a vast shingle beach, but I was surprised to see plenty of abandoned rusty machinery, a few old boats and even disused railway tracks scattered across the site. The rusty machinery on the shingle beach fascinated me, because they are like art installations (I was glad that I chose to spend the day in Dungeness rather than Folkestone), and I began to meander across the site following the trails of the machinery.





dsc_0113  dungeness





During my first hour on the beach, I did not see a single person around. Although I enjoyed the solitude, it did feel slightly strange (perhaps I have lived in London for too long). Eventually I headed towards the sea, and despite the strong wind, the smell of the sea, and the sounds of waves and seagulls made me feel grateful to be so connected to nature.







dungeness  dungeness


dungeness  dsc_0221


It is easy to lose track of time and bearing here. I somehow felt like I was in an episode of The Twilight zone. Beguiled by the surroundings, it suddenly dawned on me that time was slipping away and I needed to head towards Prospect Cottage – the purpose of this trip!

I am not sure why it took me so long to visit Derek Jarman‘s famous garden, especially because I learned about this place when I was still a student. It was my cousin who suggested that we should go and watch his feature-length film, The Garden, at the ICA. I remember the cinema was almost empty and we both nodded off during the film. However, after all these years, some imagery of the cottage and garden still remained in my memory.




prospect's cottage

prospect's cottage


Twenty-three years after his death, the appeal of the multitalented British artist/filmmaker still endures. His garden book became a best-seller; his former cottage and garden became a mecca for gardeners, artists, designers, poets, and film buffs etc. This is not Stonehenge, so you will not see coaches of tourists flocking here. Instead, you are likely to meet individuals making their own pilgrimages to pay their respect to a visionary artist. In our trend-driven world today, Jarman‘s influence still lingers because he never followed trends; he only followed his heart and his garden reflects that.

Although this is a private property (now occupied by Jarman‘s former lover Keith Collins), visitors can walk around the garden and appreciate a distinct garden that truly unqiue. Maintained by Collins and Jarman’s good friend Howard Sooley, a gardener and photographer (of his book), the postmodern style garden blends exceedingly well with the dystopian surroundings.





There is a poem on the black timber wall of his cottage from John Donne‘s ‘The Sun Risingand it reads:

Busy old fool, unruly Sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains, call on us ?
Must to thy motions lovers’ seasons run ?
Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
Late school-boys and sour prentices,
Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride,
Call country ants to harvest offices ;
Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.
In that the world’s contracted thus ;
Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
To warm the world, that’s done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere ;
This bed thy center is, these walls thy sphere.






Walking around the garden, it reminded me of the Zen gardens that I visited in Kyoto. The rusty installations, the rock circles, and choices of plants seem to capture the essence of wabi sabi. Inspired by dolmens, the garden’s rustic style and laidback attitude reflect the director’s distaste for perfectionism. In his garden book, he criticised The National Trust’s gardens as being too manicured and said: “If a garden isn’t shaggy, forget it.”

While I was there, three cars stopped by (one after another) and coincidentally, three elderly ladies with cameras got out of the car and spend 5 minutes walking around taking photos while their husbands (I assumed) waited for them inside the cars. And as soon as the ladies got into the cars, they were off in no time. I thought this sequence was rather amusing.






Walking away from the cottage, I was surprised (again) to pass by some rundown bungalows with abandoned furniture and suitcases scattered outside. Yet not far away, there are some intriguing contemporary houses like The Shingle House designed by a young Scottish practice, NORD for Living architecture which is available for holiday rental. Another holiday rental house is Pobble house designed by British architect Guy Hollaway. A recent addition is the North Vat by Rodić Davidson Architects, a shed-like structure that replaced the site’s fisherman’s cottage.

There are also two lighthouses here, one is the Grade II listed Old Lighthouse opened in 1904, and a newer one built in 1961. The landscape here is full of contrasts, contradictions, and nothing seems to make much sense, but this is also the reason why it is so unique.


The Shingle House

pobble house



Top row: The Shingle House; 2nd row: Pobble House; 3rd row: North Vat


As I started to head backwards, the sun gradually turned bright orange and so did the sky. I was completely confused as it was only three o’clock and yet it looked as if the sun was setting. Seeing the nuclear power plant and lighthouses against the hazy orangy sky and sun made the landscape look even more surreal and apocalyptic. It was only later I learned that the unusual phenomenon was caused by Hurricane Ophelia pulling up Saharan dust, which was then reflected and refracted in longer wavelengths, giving an orange colour to the sun and sky.








Could I have picked a better day to visit this desolate site? I couldn’t believe my luck. The day felt like an adventure; it was memorable and full of pleasant surprises. I love Dungeness and will surely make another trip back to explore further afield.



Hauser & Wirth & Drawing Matter in Somerset


Hauser & Wirth Somerset


One day I receive an interesting newsletter from Architecture Foundation regarding a day trip to Somerset, visiting Hauser & Wirth and the nearby Drawing Matter. I had no idea that The 2014 Serpentine Pavilion designed by Chilean architect Smiljan Radić had been relocated to Hauser & Wirth Somerset in 2015. It is one of my favourite pavilions, so I was glad that it found a new home in a beautiful environment. Since both venues are difficult to reach without a car, it was a good opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

The weather was rather inconsistent throughout the day, and at one point, the sky turned grey and rained quite heavily. Luckily, the sky cleared before we reached the destination, and we even drove by the famous Stonehenge.



Driving past Stonehenge


Often Londoners live in the ‘London bubble’ and are slightly oblivious of the world outside of it. I am no exception. Luckily, I have lived in different parts of England before, so I do enjoy venturing out of the city and explore other parts of the U.K. And since I went to a boarding school in Somerset for two years when I was a teenager, I have some fond memories of this area. Interestingly, I also attended my good friend’s wedding in the nearby Bourton in June, so I felt nice to be back here.

I actually didn’t know about the existence of Hauser & Wirth Somerset until this trip, and apparently Bruton –where it is situationed– is now one of the most sought-after town in Somerset.




hauser & wirth somerset

haust & wirth somerset


hauser & wirth somerset  hauser & wirth somerset


Opened in 2014, Hauser & Wirth Somerset is a farmhouse-converted contemporary art gallery and multi-purpose arts centre. The land consists of a group of Grade II listed farm buildings including a farmhouse, cow sheds, stables, a piggery, a threshing barn, fields and woodland. As well as refurbishing the dilapidated farm buildings, two new wings were added to connect the buildings by Paris-based and Argentinian-trained Luis Laplace, and the result is very impressive.

Laplace has done a remarkable job in restoring the farm buildings and in creating a contrasting but harmonious balance with the new additions. I love the wooden roof beams, stone walls, barn doors and bright gallery space. Currently, there are two exhibitions showing at the gallery: Josephsohn/ Markli’s ‘A Conjunction’ and Rita Ackermann’s ‘Turning Air Blue’ (both until 1st January 2018).


Swiss Sculptor Hans Josephsohn's sculptures

Swiss Sculptor Hans Josephsohn's sculptures  haust & wirth somerset

Peter Markli's architectural drawings

rita ackermann

Top & 2nd left: Swiss Sculptor Hans Josephsohn’s sculptures; 2nd right & 3rd row: Swiss architect Peter Markli’s architectural drawings; Bottom row: Rita Ackermann’s ‘Turning Air Blue’ exhibition


Aside from the art galleries, there is a bookshop and another shop selling artisan crafts and designs that are made locally. Roth Bar & Grill is a restaurant/cafe/bar focusing on sustainable and seasonal produce from the on-site farm and kitchen Garden. And at the back of the lawn is the restored six-bedroom 18th century Durslade Farmhouse which is available for rental.


Durslade Farmhouse

haust & wirth somerset  haust & wirth somerset

Roth Bar & Grill

Roth Bar & Grill

haust & wirth somerset


For me, the highlight of the venue is the stunning garden designed by Piet Oudolf, the internationally-renowned landscape designer from the Netherlands. Oudolf is a leading figure of the “New Perennial” movement, and is responsible for New York’s famous High Line.

I am not a gardener or a garden expert, but I do love his naturalistic approach to gardening. The variety of species and combination and his method of planting differ from the classical European and English gardens, and it is a real joy to wander around the unostentatious and relaxing garden.

Situated at the back of the garden is the Radić pavilion, which I think looks splendid in Oudolf‘s garden. Inspired by the primitive nature of Romantic-style follies, the pavilion is an odd-looking structure made of fibreglass. The structure is unlike any architecture that I have seen before, and it breaks many ‘rules’, so I am sure it does not appeal to everyone. Personally, I find the bulbous shape comforting and enchanting; it is playful, archaic and futuristic at the time. It doesn’t seem to belong to any time period, which I think is quite groundbreaking.

Sadly, our time at Hauser & Wirth was limited and we had to take the coach and head towards our next destination: Drawing Matters.


hauser & wirth somerset

hauser & wirth somerset

hauser & wirth somerset

The Radić Pavilion

The Radić Pavilion

The Radić Pavilion

The Radić Pavilion

The Radić Pavilion

hauser & wirth somerset

hauser & wirth somerset

hauser & wirth somerset

The Radić Pavilion


Founded by Niall Hobhousea collector of architectural drawings, sketches and models – loosely based on the master plan by Cedric Price, Drawing Matter focuses on architectural drawings and models from the 16th to the 21st century, assembled over the last twenty-one years.

Located at Shatwell, the site comprises a small collection of buildings around a working farmyard in a valley. We visited the Archive on its open day, otherwise it is usually open by appointment to tutor-led groups of students, architects, and researchers only.

Unlike the more polished Hauser & Wirth, this farm site is an ongoing project and there isn’t much to see except for The Archive, the Hadspen Obelisk by Peter Smithson, and a shipping container that has been converted into a mini library full of books on architecture and landscape design.


drawing matters





Since most of the people in the group were architects, they were ecstatic to see hand-drawn architectural drawings by famous architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, and models by contemporary architects. The drawings on display at the Archive on the day were just a small selection of work, which are part of their current curatorial and exhibition projects in the UK and abroad. And if you want to see the vast collection, you can check out their online collection via their website.


drawing matters   drawing matters

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867–1959), Drawing for the 'Eaglefeather' estate for Arch Oboler in the Santa Monica Mountains, 1940.

Le Corbusier drawing matters

Androuet du Cerceau

drawing matters  drawing matters

Nobuo Sekine

drawing matters



Top: the Archive, 2nd row: Frank Lloyd Wright (1867–1959), Drawing for the ‘Eaglefeather’ estate for Arch Oboler in the Santa Monica Mountains, 1940. 3rd row: Androuet du Cerceau; 6th row: Nobuo Sekine‘s ‘Phase of Nothingness’; Bottom row: the office


After spending some time going through the drawings, we were treated with free coffee and cakes by the friendly owner of Chapel Cross coffee room. Then we wandered around the site, and came across Alison and Peter Smithson’s Obelisk. Originally conceived in 1984 for an urban site in Siena, then reworked in 1994 as a woven spiral called the Inlook Tower. Another chapter in the work’s history saw it erected on the estate of Hadspen House, Castle Cary in 2002.

Before we set off, I walked up to the top of the valley and ramble across the fields. The view of the Somerset countryside from the top of the valley was breathtaking. As the dark clouds started to approach us and rain started to fall, it was finally time to leave.


drawing matters  drawing matters

The Hadspen Obelisk BY Peter Smithson

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The architecture-related trip was a rewarding one, and it reminded me how interesting life can be outside of London. I have visited many parts of the U.K. this year, and I will continue to do so in the future because there is just still so much to see and explore.


The Painted Hall ceiling tour in Greenwich

Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich

Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich


I don’t often visit Greenwich, but if I have friends visiting from abroad, this famous World Heritage Site would be one of the must-see spots in London. Known for its maritime history and royal links, Maritime Greenwich has been a royal manor since the early 15th century. The former Palace of Placentia was the birthplace of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. After the palace fell into disrepair during the English Civil War, it got demolished by Charles II in 1660.

Instigate by Queen Mary and inspired by the Palace of Versailles, a group of buildings were rebuilt between 1696 and 1712 and were arranged symmetrically around a ‘Grand Axis’. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor, the buildings were originally constructed to serve as the Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich, also known as Greenwich Hospital; and when the hospital closed in 1869, it was eventually converted to the Royal Naval College in 1873.


painted hall

painted hall  painted hall

Painted Hall’s lower hall ceiling before the restoration


Dubbed as London’s Sistine Chapel, The Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College is one of the most spectacular and important baroque hall in Europe. I vividly remember visiting this hall for the first time about a decade ago; while I was quite awestruck by what I saw, I was also surprised that I didn’t know of its existence before my visit.

The Painted hall’s splendid 40,000 square feet ceiling and wall decorations were conceived and executed by the British artist Sir James Thornhill between 1707 and 1726 at the pivotal moment when the United Kingdom was created and became a dominant power in Europe. Originally intended as a grand dining room for the Naval pensioners, the Painted Hall soon became a ceremonial space open to paying visitors and reserved for special functions.


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painted hall

painted hall

The painted hall’s upper hall ceiling and west wall. The wall also features the artist himself, Sir James Thornhill, standing and staring at ‘us’ with his paint brushes and paints behind him (next to the column)


A three-year and £8m conservation work of the Painted Hall started last year, and aims to complete in 2019. Over the last 300 years, smoke and dirt has built up on the surfaces of the painted ceiling, and varnish layers have fractured under the effects of heat and humidity. Since pollution has taken its toll on the painting, a new underground entrance and visitor centre will reduce the amount of pollution from entering into the hall. Visitors will also see the restored King William Undercroft, where the baroque architecture of Wren and Hawksmoor will be revealed for the first time in over a century.

During this conservation period, daily hourly guided tours of the ceiling provide the public the opportunity to see the masterpiece up close. The tour lasts for about an hour, and I found it fascinating to learn about the history of the hall and the stories behind some of the 200 figures featured in the paintings.


painted hall

painted hall tour  painted hall

painted hall

painted hall

painted hall

painted hall  painted hall

painted hall

painted hall

painted hall


The Lower Hall ceiling, executed between 1708 and 1714, celebrates the ‘Triumph of Peace and Liberty over Tyranny’. At the centre of the composition are the figures of King William and Queen Mary surrounded by various mythological and allegorical figures. The king is shown with his foot on a figure representing ‘arbitrary power and tyranny’ – which appears to be a thinly veiled depiction of Louis XIV.


painted hall

painted hall

We were told that the restoration work done a few decades back did not match the style of the original painting


Our guide informed us that their work is conservation rather than restoration. They aim to conserve the original painting rather than restoring it. Restoration made a few decades back altered the original painting, and they do not intend to let it happen this time.

You can support this grand project by donating or simply pay a visit to the site. It is really worth a visit, even if you are afraid of heights like one woman in our group! Perhaps this is the true power of art – it can transcend fears into joy (provided you don’t look down when you descend the scaffolding staircase).


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Bottom row: the Chapel opposite the Painted Hall

Yorkshire sculpture park

tony Cragg yorkshire sculpture park

Tony Cragg


I have long wanted to visit Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and my wish finally came true this summer. Like Hepworth Wakefield, the park also won the Museum of the Year award (back in 2014), and deservedly so. Sometimes high expectations may bring disappointments, but not in this case – the park is idyllic, inspiring, and full of wonderful surprises.

Celebrating its 40th birthday this year, the 500-acre park was initially instigated by an art lecturer, Peter Murray at Bretton Hall, a stately home turned further education college with a strong emphasis on fine art (which eventually closed in 2007). Sculpture park was a new idea in Britain at the time, while Storm King in the New York state had already evolved into a major art centre. Having visited both parks (see my blog post from last year here), I think they are both equally impressive, though I am slightly biased towards YSP because of the beguiling Yorkshire landscape and the historic Bretton Estate. And like Storm King, the park has been growing since the 1970s, from 200 acres to over 500 acres. Considering YSP had little funding (£1,000 grant from Yorkshire Arts) and support at the beginning, it was remarkable how it managed to become the leading open-air gallery in Britain, attracting more than 400,000 visitors each year.


yorkshire sculpture parkBlack and Blue: The Invisible Men and the Masque of Blackness

Anthony Caro Promenade

Henry Moore: Reclining Figure: Arch Leg

Barbara Hepworth: The Family of Man

Top: Zak Ové’s Black and Blue: The Invisible Men and the Masque of Blackness; 2nd row: Anthony Caro’s Promenade; 3rd row: Henry Moore’s Reclining Figure: Arch Leg; Bottom row: Barbara Hepworth’s The Family of Man


As I didn’t have a car, I had to rely on the infrequent bus service, which meant that my hours at the park was restricted. I could have stayed for longer if I didn’t have to catch the last bus back, so that was a slight letdown. Be prepared to spend at least 4 hours here if you want to see the major outdoor works and temporary indoor exhibitions. I was fortunate enough to see the excellent exhibition ‘Tony Cragg: A Rare Category of Objects‘ (see photos below) before it ended, but a selection of open-air works will be on display until March 2018.


Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads

Dennis Oppenheim: Trees: From Alternative Landscape Components

Peter Randall-Page: Shapes in the Clouds III  Niki de Saint Phalle: Buddha

Sophie Ryder: Crawling

Marialuisa Tadei: Octopus

Sol Lewitt: 123454321

Top: Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads; 2nd row: Dennis Oppenheim: Trees: From Alternative Landscape Components; 3rd row left: Peter Randall-Page: Shapes in the Clouds III; 3rd right: Niki de Saint Phalle: Buddha; 4th row: Sophie Ryder: Crawling; 5th row: Marialuisa Tadei: Octopus; Bottom row: Sol Lewitt: 123454321


I was also very lucky with the weather; as we all know, the British weather is very unpredictable, so when I bought my train tickets a month earlier, I had no idea whether it would be sunny and rainy.

Sculptures aside, the park itself is also full of wonders. The Grade II listed Palladian style Bretton Hall, the pleasure grounds and parkland all date back to the 18th century, and there are several historic structures within the compound: Camellia House, St Bartholomew’s Chapel (now restored as a gallery space), Archway Lodge, the summerhouse, the Cascade Bridge and the Dam Head Bridge.


 Leo Fitzmaurice: Litter yorkshire sculpture park

Marc Quinn: Wilder Shores of Desire

yorkshire sculpture park

dam head bridge yorkshire sculpture park

yorkshire sculpture park

yorkshire sculpture park

James Capper: TREAD PAD pair 1

James Capper: TREAD PAD pair 1

Top left: Leo Fitzmaurice: Litter; 2nd row: Marc Quinn: Wilder Shores of Desire; 3rd row: Bretton Hall; 4th row: Dam Head bridge; 5th row: Greek temple: Bottom two rows: James Capper: TREAD PAD pair 1


At the far end of the park is the Longside Gallery, a contemporary space designed by Tony Fretton Architects, which hosts temporary indoor exhibitions and offers panoramic views of the park. I took a free shuttle bus from the entrance to the Gallery and then walked back through the woodlands, which enabled me to enjoy some spectacular views of the nearby landscape, as well as seeing some unusual ‘camouflaged’ installation works like David Nash‘s ‘Seventy-one Steps’, Hemali Bhuta‘s ‘Speed Breakers’ and Andy Goldsworthy‘s ‘Hanging Trees’.


 Zero to Infinity

 Zero to Infinity

Occasional Geometries: Rana Begum curates the Arts Council Collection

Jesse Darling, March of the Valedictorians,  yorkshire sculpture park

yorkshire sculpture park

 yorkshire sculpture park

Andy Goldsworthy: Outclosure

Andy Goldsworthy: Hanging Trees

Andy Goldsworthy: Hanging Trees  David Nash: Seventy-one Steps

yorkshire sculpture park

Top two rows: Rasheed Araeen’s Zero to Infinity at the Longside Gallery; 3rd row: Occasional Geometries: Rana Begum curates the Arts Council Collection; 4th row left: Jesse Darling’s March of the Valedictorians; 7th row: Andy Goldsworthy: Outclosure; 8th & 9th row left: Andy Goldsworthy: Hanging Trees 9th row right: David Nash: Seventy-one Steps


Sometimes visiting a vast sculpture park feels like a treasure hunt, and it is almost impossible to locate all the sculptures during a visit. But that is part of the fun as well – knowing that you have missed some, which gives you an excuse to return again.

However, having learnt that the Bretton Hall will be converted into a luxury hotel and spa with conference and wedding facilities is causing me some concern – will this be turned into a ‘Disneyland’ type of park? I sincerely hope not. Since the park is one of its kind in Britain, I hope it continue to remain so in the future.


tony Cragg yorkshire sculpture park  tony Cragg yorkshire sculpture park

tony Cragg yorkshire sculpture park

tony Cragg yorkshire sculpture park

tony Cragg yorkshire sculpture park

tony Cragg yorkshire sculpture park

tony Cragg yorkshire sculpture park  tony Cragg yorkshire sculpture park

tony Cragg yorkshire sculpture park

tony Cragg yorkshire sculpture park

Tony Cragg: A Rare Category of Objects