Yesterday I finally paid a visit to the Rhoneymeade Arboretum, Sculpture Garden, and Labyrinth, which is about 35 miles northeast of here, right out in the middle of a farm valley. The only other sculpture gardens I’ve visited have been those attached to major urban museums, so I was interested to see what difference, if any, the rural location might make.
Well, for one thing, not all sculptures here are made by humans. Also, trees both native and exotic take pride of place in the garden and in the nearby labyrinth, a refreshing shift in emphasis from most modern presentations of Art, where nature plays a supporting role at best.
Nor were all the human sculptures either anthropomorphic or completely abstract, though the majority did fit into one of those two categories. “Flight” was one of a half-dozen or so that seemed to take its surroundings fully into account.
The birds here do what birds always do to public statuary. This plaster and resin sculpture is identified as “Brown Man” on the website, but “Thoughtful Man” on the laminated directory in the studio at Rhoneymeade itself. One way or another, it’s obviously getting lots of attention from the local birds.
The plaster was beginning to fall off in a couple of places, and the grass had been left to grow long around it. Given its manner of composition — a life cast from a living model, according to the owner — I imagine that the artist fully anticipated its slow return to nature.