THE LAUNCH of a new outdoor sculpture exhibition in Dorchester has wowed art lovers, with well over 200 sculptures on display across the 26-acre Dorset sculpture park.

Striking and varied works by more than 30 top sculptors have been installed across Sculpture by the Lakes at Pallington Lakes, with more than 100 monumental outdoor sculptures awaiting discovery in the sculpture park’s stunning landscape of lakes, rivers, gardens, and woodlands.

From Adam Binder’s 12ft two-tonne monumental bronze polar bear floating on an ‘iceberg’ in one of the lakes, to the exquisitely observed animal sculptures of Nick Bibby, this event is a feast of forms, across a breadth of styles, mediums, and techniques.

The event has been created and curated by Simon Gudgeon, an acclaimed sculptor and the owner and founder of Sculpture by the Lakes at Pallington near Dorchester

He said: “It is rare, especially in a post-Covid world, for people to have the opportunity to see so many and such a rich variety of artworks, together in one space – and that is what we have achieved here, taking full advantage of all our acreage and this idyllic setting.

“This is a true celebration of sculpture and nature and the relationship between the two.”

As well as the outdoor pieces the exhibition has more than 100 gallery pieces, made viewable in an outdoor setting until galleries can reopen safely in mid-April.

The event, which launched on April 1, and will continue until May 16, is expected to draw some 14,000 visitors, including art buyers and collectors, with all the works, ranging in price from £1,000 to £300,000, available to purchase.

Ticket numbers have been capped to ensure social distancing, but sales have been incredibly strong with many days sold out already.

Simon added: “It was no mean feat bringing together so many artists and so many incredible works of art from across the UK and even further afield – but the result is even better than we had envisioned.

“We have had incredible feedback already from our visitors, and to see them interacting with and experiencing the sculptures has been hugely satisfying.

“After the year we’ve had, people are finding this event all the more uplifting and transformative.”

Alongside Form – The Sculpture Exhibition will be The Garden Festival, taking place in the final week from May 12 to May 16.

A five-day event with more than 30 exhibitors, featuring everything to do with the garden, from plants to tools to garden furniture.

Alongside the exhibits will be expert talks and tours of the stunning park with its botanic and kitchen gardens, which were all created by Head Gardener and co-founder of Sculpture by the Lakes Monique Gudgeon.

Tickets for FORM – The Sculpture Exhibition will be priced at £12.50 – which is the standard price of entry to Sculpture by the Lakes.

Tickets must be booked in advance and visitors will be required to maintain a safe distance from staff and other visitors.

Sculpture by the Lakes is already experienced in operating public events with Covid-safe measures in place, having put on the hugely successful Dorset Arts Festival last July.

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