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.

blue atlas cedar

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.

Brown Man 2

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.

Brown Man 1

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.

Complete set of Rhoneymeade photos (9) / Slideshow

10 Replies to “Rhoneymeade”

  1. Oh, I think they were real. Of course, I did my darnedest in the post-processing to try and make them look as if they’d been carved from marble.

  2. I love such places. Re the brown man, I’d love to see a whole row of them, each cast in a different material, returning to nature at different rates. Fine post.

  3. Thanks. I should’ve asked the owner (Richard Morgan, himself a sculptor) more about his philosophy and that of the sculptors whose work he owns, but I ran out of time.

  4. “Flight” is my favorite. It took me quite some time to see that the metal was cut through so that you can see the landscape through it. The first several looks that that the birds were painted on, not cut-outs. Nice sculpture and nice pic.

  5. Thanks, Shai and Jo. I don’t know much about sculpture myself; I’m glad to hear you think these ones are pretty good.

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