Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sculpture in Context: A Visit

Amidst all the gloomy weather we have been having lately, the skies very kindly turned for my visit to see the Sculpture in Context exhibition at the National Botanic Gardens yesterday. My guests and I had the fortune to stroll around this beautiful place mostly in bright warm sunlight. All around the gardens, over 120 works of art had been installed by their creators, taking into account their specific locations and circumstances, in other words, their context. A catalogue and a map of the locations of the sculptures can be acquired from the visitors' centre for three euro, but as I find pleasure in the exploratory and treasure-hunty nature of simply discovering the sculptures (or not - many in the catalogue I simply didn't spot this time) I chose to wander around unguided and purchased the catalogue afterward.

One of my great arty loves is finding works of art in unexpected places or situations, so there was no way I wasn't going to enjoy the exhibition. However, I was struck by how a good few artists had chosen to creates sculptures in the shape of flowers or leaves and situated them amidst real blooms or foliage. Yes, certainly, this is sculpture in the Botanic Gardens. But after you have seen one set of artificial flowers, the rest become very samey. A little unimaginative, perhaps? I felt more stimulated by shapes that did not attempt to imitate the context, but worked with it and also within it. Thankfully, there were plenty of those available as well. Visitors should also note that in addition to the works of art situated in the landscape, there is also a large selection shown in the visitors' centre.

Some of my favourites are pictured here:

Sculpture in Context continues in the National Botanic Gardens until 21 October 2011, Mo-Fri 9 am to 5 pm, Sat-Sun 10 am to 6 pm, free admission.


  1. I spent many formative years in the Botanic Gardens. Based on Nina's review, will visit there again very soon.

  2. I'm delighted to hear this, I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do!