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Come and discover art among plant life

Carol Sherman with one of her structural installations

Carol Sherman with one of her structural installationsCarol Sherman

A kingfisher in metal by Richard Bindon

A kingfisher in metal by Richard BindonRichard Bindon

Emily Gibbard with her stoneware sculpture, Soar

Emily Gibbard with her stoneware sculpture, SoarEmily Gibbard

Press release issued: 5 April 2023

Come and discover art among plant life at the University of Bristol Botanic Garden this weekend at their annual Easter Sculpture Festival which marks the start of the gardening year as the Garden springs into life.

The festival will take place from Good Friday [7 April] to Easter Monday [10 April] from 10 am to 5 pm

Visitors to the festival will see wildlife in mosaics, stone figures in the Garden’s Mediterranean display, sci-fi metal work, plant-like ceramics and in the Garden’s glasshouses huge African carnival faces.

Along with regular artists, the Garden is pleased to introduce four new sculptors to the festival.  Toni Burrows will bring her mosaic urban foxes to the Garden; Richard Bindon is a metal artist whose work ranges from nature to sci-fi; ceramicist, Emily Gibbard creates sculptural representations of womanhood and Carol Sherman works with many different materials to create free standing and structural installations.

Nick Wray, Curator of the Botanic Garden, said: "I am delighted we are hosting the festival once again.  It’s a great opportunity for local West Country artists to exhibit their work – many who live and work in Bristol and know the Garden well.

"I am especially interested to see Carol Sherman's pieces that are made with the purpose of showcasing them at community events.   Our visitors will have the opportunity to be inspired and enjoy the work on display in the Garden as it shakes off its winter slumber and springs into life."

During the event visitors can view and buy sculpture, enjoy demonstrations and even have a go at willow weaving, pottery and stone carving with experts on hand to give tips and advice.

Tez Roberts of Labyrinth Arts will be giving potter’s wheel demonstrations and offering visitors an opportunity to try their hand. She uses a variety of firing methods with Raku and stoneware being her preferred mediums.

Willow weaver Maya Wolf will also be teaching visitors her craft and helping them create willow sculptures to take home.

Wood turner, Geoff Hannis, will be demonstrating his green woodworking skills and this year, for the first time, he will be displaying a collection of bowls turned in 52 different woods.  His aim was to make bowl a week out of a different wood to show the diverse woods grown in the UK, and to help him, and others in the woodworking community to better understand their properties.

Other sculptors returning this year with new creations include ceramicists Karen Edwards, Jeremy Baines and Renee Kilburn, Adele Christensen and Aurora Pozniakow (glass art), Joanna Williams (blacksmith artist), Hayley Jones (3d wire sculptures), Frankie Hudson (mosaicist), and Christine Baxter (figurative sculptor).

There will be free guided tours of the Garden throughout the weekend and people will have the opportunity to see the spring flowers and learn about the wonders of the plant world, including many exotic tropical useful plants in the large display glasshouse.

The Friends of the Garden will be running their usual plant sale, selling plants on site. Horticultural books will be given away for anyone who is interested and would like to make a small donation. Refreshments will be available on the West Terrace.

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, 7 April until Easter Monday, 10 April from 10 am to 5 pm.

Entry to the Botanic Garden Easter Sculpture Festival is adults £10 with gift aid (£11 without); free to University staff, alumni and retired staff, Friends of the Garden, ALL students, children under-18 and carers of visitors.

Tickets can be booked in advance through the online shop.

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 until November.

Admission outside of festivals is £9 ( or £9.90 with Gift Aid), except on WEDNESDAY, which is a DAISY day; free to University alumni, staff and retired staff, carers of visitors, Friends of the Botanic Garden, All students and children under 18.

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

The Botanic 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 Botanic Garden for groups of ten upwards are available seven days a week.  Please contact the garden for further information.  Outside of festival days there is a charge for the guide of £12 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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