Our guide to outdoor sculptures
Nothing makes statement quite like a sculpture or ornament in your garden or outdoor space. A well-chosen piece is a long-term investment which can bring joy and personality to your garden for years to come. With this in mind, careful consideration must be made to make sure you invest in the right sculpture for you. Here are our top tips for making that important decision.
Understand your environment
One of the first things to consider is what sort of space you want to create. Statues and human figures will build a classical feel. Abstract or contemporary pieces can add an edge to an urban outdoor space whilst animals or simple stone pieces will work beautifully in wild gardens. Aim to pick a sculpture which will complement your garden’s style and reflect your personality.
An important factor in your decision-making is what material the sculpture is made of. Generally, sculptures made from concrete, plastic or wood are the cheapest, but also the least durable. Terracotta and ceramic pieces are more durable but can also be fragile. Cast stone or metal (bronze, copper, steel or lead) are a good investment. They are pieces that are not only highly durable, but also age well with exposure to the elements.
In a large garden, bigger pieces can be placed in the centre of your lawn or amongst foliage to break up your planted borders and bring them to life. For less spacious gardens, small sculptures nestled amongst flower beds can surprise and delight viewers, or can be used to draw attention to interesting design features if placed within wall nooks or archways. Other elements to consider are the angle from which you and your guests will view it, and where the sunlight will catch it at different times of day or year.
For spectacular bespoke metal works, check out Gofannon Forge in mid Wales. Nick Buchan and Tom Robinson are two artist blacksmiths who now create bespoke art pieces using both traditional and modern metalworking skills. Their ironwork varies from contemporary to classical design and they like to work closely with clients to achieve one-off pieces. Past work includes peacocks, red kites and a larger than life stag as well as gates and fences.
Carol Peace is a Bristol-based sculptor who makes by hand distinctive human figures and abstract works from clay which are then cast into bronze. Works like ‘Family 3’, three large circles enveloping a couple or the leaning female figure of ‘Possibly’ would make stunning features in large gardens.