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RHS Wisley Exhibition Report

Day Dream by Rosie Jones

Once again this summer the Surrey Sculpture Society was invited to exhibit at RHS Wisley and it was our biggest sculpture trail there so far, allowing us to use areas of the wonderful gardens that the trail has never ventured in to before. We had 110 sculptures on display including two by our special guest artist, Michael Speller. The trail wound through the beautiful rose garden, the woodland areas and the glasshouse.

This was my first year managing the Wisley show and I need to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped, with a special thanks going to Abby and Teresa Martin who did such a wonderful job designing the trail; Maria Szende for handling all of the sales notifications; and to Carol Orwin who was there to answer all of my stupid questions!

We had a fantastic mixture of pieces in the trail this year, from the always popular traditional figurative sculptures like the little Hippo in the Glasshouse to the more untraditional (sometimes downright whacky) pieces like Allan Wallis’ welly booted ducks or Katie Netley’s Monocled Man.

Also this year we had more kinetic work than I’ve ever seen in an SSS exhibition and I think that really added a lot of interest in the show.

Visitor numbers at Wisley are always impressive and this year was no exception despite all of the building work going on in the garden. We’ve had amazing comments from visitors and also from Wisley staff who enjoyed having the sculptures in the garden so much this year they have asked several artists to leave pieces in situ for the rest of the year!

This year Wisley also provided us with an amazing new trail guide, not just the usual A4 sheet of paper but a beautiful booklet with a map, info and photos that I think many visitors took home as a souvenir of the show, and judging by the sales enquiries that are still coming in, people are still using it as a reference. To date, we have sold 210 pieces by 40 different artists.

Time to start planning for next year; let’s see if we can make it even bigger and better!

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