I love art and sculpture in a garden setting, and have even tried my hand at making my own garden sculpture. To see garden sculpture on a grand scale, you can’t go past the Auckland Botanic Gardens Sculpture in the Gardens event that is held every couple of years. For three to four months over the summer, 20 large scale installations from a range of artists are displayed throughout the gardens. These are arranged as part of a trail that is well signposted and takes you around quite a significant portion of the gardens. Allowing for ambling, talking, sculpture viewing, photo taking, and detours to interesting parts of the garden it takes around 1.5 hours to walk around.
It is always fascinating to see the wide range of styles, materials and subjects of the sculpture. What makes “art” is a very subjective thing and always makes for great discussion and comparison between your own choices and those of the judges. For me, for an exhibition such as this, the pieces should be appropriate to the surroundings, show artistic merit and/or skill, and make a clever comment suited to the environment and audience. The judges clearly have other criteria that don’t match so well with mine.
Here are some photos of some of my favourites:
Each year the Botanic Gardens purchase some of the pieces in the exhibition and so are gradually assembling a great selection of sculpture pieces that are on display on a permanent basis. These are some of my perennial favourites:
There is a cafe in the gardens for pre- or post- walk coffee, ice-cream or lunch. There is also a matching programme of events with guided walks by artists, live music and workshops and other activities for young and old. It is on until 6 March.