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Come and see sculptural delights inspired by faraway shores

Figurative sculpture by Christine Baxter Andy Winfield

Ceramic flowers by Renee Kilburn Catherine Davis Photography

Julius Debs Paproska Cole

Press release issued: 18 April 2019

A Tuareg musician from the Sahara wearing a traditional tagelmust-turban veil, Greek gods, multimedia figures, stained glass creations and bronze and marble sculptures based on Buddhist prayer wheels, are all waiting to welcome visitors to this year's University of Bristol Botanic Garden Easter Sculpture Festival.

The Easter Sculpture Festival will take place from Good Friday [19 April] to Easter Monday [22 April] from 10 am to 5 pm

Now an established event in the South West arts and gardening calendar, this year's Festival features more sculptors than ever before, working in a wide range of different materials.

Nick Wray, Curator of the Botanic Garden, said: "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, be the next generation of art or plant sciences student or simply enjoy the work on display in the Garden as it shakes off its winter slumber and bursts into life."

The Botanic Garden provides a unique setting with its own backdrop of sculptural elements including bamboos, prehistoric tree ferns, giant leaves and exotic treasures in the glasshouses.

Stained glass designers will be showing their creations in the Chinese Medicinal Herb Garden next to the Evolutionary Dell.   Jude Goss (Lucian Stained Glass) and Aurora Pozniakow will take full advantage of the Bamboo Pavilion to show their designs.

Visitors to the Garden will have the opportunity to create willow sculptures on Easter Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, with willow weaver, Maya Wolf, to take home to their garden. 

Denius Parson, who manages a small woodland on the outskirts of Painswick, Gloucestershire, where he converts diseased and dying trees into unique natural creations that blend into their new surroundings, will be giving chainsaw sculpture demonstrations throughout the Festival.

Other attractions include children's trails, free tours of the garden and refreshments in the Holmes.  See a full list of exhibitors.

The Easter Sculpture Festival at the University of Bristol Botanic Garden at The Holmes, Stoke Park Road, Bristol, BS9 1JG, will take place from Good Friday, 19 April until Easter Monday, 22 April from 10 am to 5 pm.

Entry to the Botanic Garden Easter Sculpture Festival is adults £8.80 with gift aid (£8.00 without); free to University staff and retired staff, Friends of the Garden, ALL students and children under-18.

Further information

About the University of Bristol Botanic Garden
The Botanic Garden has a strong evolutionary theme and cultivates over 5,000 plant species forming four core collections that illustrate plant evolution, plants from Mediterranean climates, useful plants (including Chinese and Western herb gardens) 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 glasshouses, home to giant Amazon water lilies, tropical fruit and medicinal plants, orchids, cacti and a unique sacred lotus collection. 

Normal admission and opening times
The Botanic Garden is open from 10 am until 4.30 pm or dusk in the winter (except during weekends in February and March when opening times change to 10.30 am until 3 pm).

The Garden is open Monday to Friday and closed at weekends from December until the end of January.

From February until the end of November the Garden is open for seven days a week including bank holidays.

Admission is £6.60 (Gift Aid payment)* or £6 (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 £6.60 includes a 60p 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 accessible for wheelchairs and mobility scooters with a designated path leading around the garden and glasshouses. Disabled toilet facilities are available on site and a wheelchair is available upon request from the Welcome Lodge.

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 of £8 per person.

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 contact Sue Beech, The Membership Secretary, email:

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