Exhibition news – FRESH AIR 2015
FRESH AIR, the biennial mixed media sculpture show set in Quenington Old Rectory’s five acre garden, is one of the real treats of the contemporary art world. Established by art collectors, Lucy and David Abel-Smith in 1992, FRESH AIR is a joyfully accessible living gallery celebrating the diversity of sculpture in the 21st century.
This year’s show features 95 artists working in a huge range of materials from stone to textiles, ceramic to glass, sound to video, mosaic to metals, rubber to resin. Monumental pieces such as Jon Buck’s Midnight Movie Heads, (below) sit alongside smaller works like Helen Snell’s laser cut polypropylene Tree Boats and prices range from £50 to £50,000.
Midnight Movie Heads, Jon Buck. Bronze, Edition 2 of 10. 75cms high, £12,000
© Steve Russell Studios
Other than two site specific installations - a video-dance-textile piece in the boat house featuring recordings of seasonal sounds taken from the garden by Julia van Doorne and an abstract projection installation in the tennis court house by Polish new media artists Radek Rudnicki and Jakub Hader – the work has not been made especially for FRESH AIR. It has however been cleverly curated so that the pieces and the setting interact, each informing the other.
Beech Tree Branch Harp, Michael Fairfax. POA for a similar site specific commission
Some are part of the garden. Michael Fairfax’s Beech Tree Branch Harp, (above) for example, sits in the crook of a branch and visitors are invited to put their ear close to the strings and play. Others, such as Danish sculptor Hilde A Danielson’s shape-shifting sculpture Upside Down Again, (below) made from 60 wooden door frames, seem to contrast with their surroundings, their connection with the landscape only becoming clear on close inspection. Upside Down Again smells richly, evocatively of wood. And many are representations of plants and animals. Terence Coventry’s bronze Monumental Gannet Head (top) stands proud, king of the landscape it surveys.
Upside Down Again, Hilde A Danileson. Nordic pinewood, metal fasteners, 750x210x90cms. POA © Hilde A Danielsen
FRESH AIR consistently enlightens, provokes, excites and charms its visitors. The 2015 edition is no exception. Go and see it.
FRESH AIR 2015 runs at Quenington Old Rectory, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 5BN from 14th June – 5th July. Open daily from 10am – 5pm. Admission adults £4, children free. Contact 01285 750358; www.freshairsculpture.com