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Come and snap the Bristol crocodile this weekend

Daren Greenhow

Willa Ashworth

Aurora Pozniakow

Press release issued: 11 April 2017

Quilts in jewelled colours, stained glass sailing boats, a bronze Rambeaux with attitude, calligraphy inspired ceramics, and quirky foliage sculptures, are just a few of the highlights of this year’s University of Bristol Botanic Garden Sculpture Festival and Quilting Exhibition.

The Sculpture Festival and Quilting Exhibition, which has become a regular event for families, as well as art and garden lovers, will take place from Good Friday [April 14] to Easter Monday [April 17] from 10 am to 5 pm.

This year the Botanic Garden will feature the internationally renowned sculptor, Lucianne Lassalle, who was born in Paris but now lives in Bristol.  The human form has always been Lassalle’s passion and her work is hugely influenced by contemporary dance and physical theatre.

Professor Jane Memmott, Director of the Botanic Garden, said: "Amazing plants, springtime, inspirational sculpture and tea on the terrace – what's not to like? I am delighted that the Botanic Garden has once again provided the opportunity for local artists to display their work. Some of the artwork will be made during the exhibition, which, with the garden bursting into life, will create the perfect environment for visitors to enjoy."

Nicholas Wray, Curator of the Botanic Garden, added: "The natural world has inspired artists to make the varied and innovative pieces of work that will be displayed at the Festival.  For the visitor there will be the opportunity to be inspired, perhaps be the next generation of art student or simply enjoy the work on display in the Garden at this uplifting time of year."

Every year the Festival features guest appearances of different artistic media. This year it is the turn of, award-winning design and craft tutor at the Garden, Lynne Quinn and her students to exhibit their jewelled patchwork and quilting creations in the Linnaeus Study Room.

Visitors will see plenty of new ceramicists this year including Jeremy Baines, who lives in Bristol but the source of his work is essentially rural and is to be found in the West Country and Wales.

Philippa Macarthur, a Wiltshire-based sculptor, draws much of her inspiration from walks in the countryside or beachcombing and her work focuses on the minute repetitions and patterns found in nature. 

Mosaic artist, Frankie Hudson has recently created some tile designs after seeing Roman and Mexican ceramics and Adrian Bates makes a range of high-fired stoneware ceramics for home and garden that are all robust, frost-resistant and waterproof ceramics.

Well-established sculptor and artist Christine Baxter, a classically trained sculptor, has worked for many years as a model maker in the film and gift industry as well as creating designs for both the Wade and Wedgwood factories.

Glass and ceramics sculptor, Adele Christensen, was awarded an MA in Design/Ceramics by Bath Spa University last year and glass sculptor, Aurora Pozniakow, will be bringing four pieces of work entitled Rhythms that have been inspired by the repeated shapes and colours found in nature

Lucian stained glass, started by Jude Goss, was joined by Jude's husband, Nigel, this year and using his woodworking skills they have created garden sculptures using reclaimed wood and glass.

Daren Greenhow, metal sculptor, has always enjoyed the challenge of taking everyday objects and reinterpreting them in new and unexpected contexts.

Joining the Festival again this year will be the ceramic garden sculptures of Karen Edwards, as well as the stone and ceramic sculptures of Jitka Palmer inspired by stories and themes. Also in the Garden will be the glass sculptor Aurora Pozniakow and the metalwork sculptor Willa Ashworth will be bringing some of her new designs including her Fire Pods and poppy sculptures.

Other attractions include demonstrations by potter, Tez Roberts, stained glass by Jude Goss, willow weaving with Maya Woolfe (Easter Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday)  and a performance of martial arts by Wing Chun Kung Fu (Easter Sunday only). Also for daffodil lovers there will be a unique trail featuring all 13 classes of daffodils and the opportunity for visitors to spot the Bristol crocodile lurking within the Garden.

Free tours of the Garden will take place throughout the Festival, together with demonstrations, a plant and book sale and refreshments will be available.

The Sculpture Festival and Quilting Exhibition at the University of Bristol Botanic Garden will take place from Good Friday, 14 April until Easter Monday, 17 April from 10 am to 5 pm. Refreshments, tours of the garden and demonstrations will be available.

Entry to the Botanic Garden Sculpture Festival is £6 adults; free to University staff and retired staff, Friends of the Botanic Garden, ALL students and children under 16.

Further information

About the Botanic Garden
The Botanic Garden has a strong evolutionary theme and cultivates over 4,500 plant species forming four core collections that illustrate plant evolution, plants from Mediterranean climates, useful plants and rare and threatened native plants to the Bristol area. 

Star attractions include an amazing dell demonstrating the evolution of land plants including the dinosaurs' favourite plants: ginkgos, cycads, tree ferns, monkey puzzles and the Wollemi Pine.  Other delights include the Chinese and Western herb gardens and an inspiring display of plants illustrating floral diversity. 

Opening times
The Garden is open from 10 am until 4.30 pm.

  • From 1 April 2017 until the end of October, the Garden is open for seven days a week including bank holidays.

Admission is £5.50 (Gift Aid payment)* or £5.00 (non - Gift Aid payment); free to University staff and retired staff, Friends of the Botanic Garden, students and children under 18.

*The adult gate entry fee of £5.50 includes a 50p voluntary donation which UK taxpayers’ can pay, allowing the Botanic Garden to benefit from a 25 per cent refund of tax from the government on each adult ticket

Dogs (except registered disability assistance dogs) are not permitted in the Botanic Garden.

The garden is largely accessible for wheelchairs and mobility scooters with a designated path leading around the garden and glasshouses. Disabled toilet facilities are available on site.

Pre-booked guided tours of the garden for groups of ten upwards are available seven days a week.  Please contact the garden for further information.  There is a charge for the guide.

Directions to the Botanic Garden
From the city centre go to the top of Whiteladies Road, at the junction and traffic lights go straight ahead across Durdham Down towards Stoke Bishop. At the traffic lights go straight ahead and take the first turning on the right into Stoke Park Road, The Botanic Garden at the Holmes is 150 metres on the right.

Members of the public wishing to support the work of the Botanic Garden should join the Friends of the Garden. For more information go to the Friends of the Botanic Garden or write to Susan Redfern, The Membership Secretary, 24 Dublin Crescent, Henleaze, Bristol BS9 4NA.

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