Aesops Fables Sculpture Exhibition at RHS Hyde Hall

Aesops Fables Sculpture Exhibition at RHS Hyde Hall

Very large gardens have been a perennial favourite of those wanting to exhibit sculpture since they provide both space and a nice setting.

RHS Hyde Hall is currently the location for a selection of life-size animal sculptures by Susan Bacon and Marcus Cornish – which I saw yesterday. It’s called Aesop’s Fables sculpture exhibition

The life size bronzes of animals exhibited in the Dry Garden are by Marcus Cornish and are very impressive and I’m uploading my photos of these to a Facebook Album

Boxing Hares by Marcus Cornish

However I was less impressed by the display on the slopes – which, given it’s both a very different style and material, I assume is by Susan Bacon.

WHY place a sculpture on the ground – if you’re going to fence it off?

Horse and foal sculpture

The entire sculpture is fenced off – which is quite ridiculous. In fact it looks totally naff! 

Plus it has two very silly posters either side which say 

Important: Do not play on or pass this railing

I think they’re assuming all small children can read!

Have those who erected it never seen exhibitions of sculpture in large ground eg the Yorkshire Sculpture Park?

Somehow I got the impression this was maybe out of concern for potential damage to the sculpture rather than any concern about health and safety of the visitors to Hyde Hall.

Of course an alternative and a much more professional approach would have been to use a plinth if they needed to avoid any potential damage to sculpture or small child.

I hasten to add, Hyde Hall is somewhere I enjoy sculpture – from the leaves in the Winter Garden to the Kinetic Sycamore Seed Sculpture by David Watkinson – which I love!

About the Sculptors

Susan Bacon studied sculpture and drawing at the City and Guilds Art School and the Royal Academy, and is based in the East of England.

I must confess I’d ever never heard of her and could not find a website. 

Marcus Cornish trained at the Royal College of Art and now practises from his studio in Sussex. 

Both artists have taught at the Royal Drawing School, a not-for-profit educational organisation.

It would be nice to think that the RHS could also find a way to 

  • avoid nepotism
  • be “nice to the sculptors” 

Maybe have an open competition for those wanting to display their art in the RHS Gardens? I’m sure they’d get some excellent entries.

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