Wandering in a magical landscape

SOMERSET sculptor Fiona Campbell has two installations on show, one indoors and one outside, in Wander_Land, at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens in Penzance, at a dramatic site with St Michael’s Mount in the background.

Inspired by walks in woodlands, Flags of the Forest was developed from an indoor piece to a large outdoor installation. The flags celebrate biodiversity, hopeful of nature being more cared for, and thriving. The work includes scrap metal/found wood components with hand-stitched patchworks of semi-translucent textiles.

Fiona says: “It’s a first for me to include a water feature as part of an installation. I’ve enjoyed seeing the work activated by wind, rain and sunshine, and loved chatting to visitors. I couldn’t dream of a better view for this work – across the sea to St Michael’s Mount, a tidal island, place of pilgrimage and inspiration for the show.”

The indoor work, Above and Below, is a response to the entanglements of matter, rhizomic systems and debris that make up the strata we walk on – “Frothing and tangling and fusing.. layering and layering and layering …” as described by Merlin Sheldrake, in his book, Entangled Life.

Wander_Land, running to 5th August, is a group exhibition of new work specifically for Tremenheere Gallery and the surrounding garden area by 28 members of the Royal Society of Sculptors. The work, in a wide range of media, responds to the relationship between landscape and wandering, with wandering, in a conscious sense, suggesting links with asceticism, joy, protest, well-being, environmental awareness and harmony.

Inspiration also comes from pilgrimage and in particular St Michael’s Way, a pilgrim route that runs from St Uny’s Church in Lelant to St Michael’s Mount and passes through Tremenheere.

The participating artists members are mostly based in the South West. They first connected with each other during the pandemic via Zoom. These virtual gatherings resulted in Together We Rise, an exhibition at Chichester Cathedral in 2022, in which the Royal Society of Sculptors members reflected on their experience of the lockdowns. Wander_Land is a next step, or sequel, to the show at Chichester Cathedral.

The participating artists are Tabatha Andrews, Pauline Antram, Barbara Beyer, Michael Blow, Ann-Margreth Bohl, Philip Booth, Ros Burgin, Doug Burton, Fiona Campbell, Dallas Collins, Chris Dunseath, Emma Elliott/Susie Olczak, Jane Fox, Anna Gillespie, Simon Hitchens, Jane Jobling, Alistair Lambert, William Lasdun, Ian Marlow, Robert Marshall, Seamus Moran, Rebecca Newnham, Kate Parsons, Suzanne Blank Redstone, Mark Richards, Jilly Sutton, and David Worthington.

The exhibition is open daily from 11am to 4pm. Tremenheere Gallery was opened in 2017. Set in magical landscaped gardens and wooded grounds, it overlooks the sea.

Pictured is Fiona Campbell with Flags of the Forest – St Michael’s Mount is visible in the background. Photograph by Russell Sach.