Six major sculptures by internationally-renowned conceptual artist Dr Subodh Kerkar have been installed at Yorkshire’s Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park.
The award-winning garden and open-air gallery boasts more than 70 sculptures over 45 acres, featuring an arboretum and three lakes. It is also home to the North’s largest collection of rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias with 20,000 plants.
Peter Roberts, who founded the garden with his wife Caroline, commissioned the Indian artist as an admirer of his work. Peter said: “The sculptures build on the Himalayan theme as East meets West, with a reimagining of Yorkshire’s history. Subodh’s installations inspire peace and reflection as visitors interact with nature. We are very excited about the new work.”
Subodh Kerkar founded the largest contemporary art space in India, the Museum of Goa. His work is showcased all over the world. Ghandi’s principle of ahimsa (doing no harm) is a theme that runs through his work.
Visitors will walk through a doorway to experience Logs of Dialogues, a sculpture that consist of 18 logs painted with eyes and open mouths. An ode to dialogue, it is a response to the rise of terrorism. Dr Kerkar said: “Terrorism is a product of a lack of communication, the world needs dialogue more than ever before.”
Combining natural materials from Yorkshire with 10,000 shells shipped from his Goa homeland to chronicle Yorkshire’s ancient links with the sea, The Ocean Comes to Yorkshire features logs covered with cowrie and tower shells.
Dr Kerkar explained: “When the Vikings came to Yorkshire they used the ocean as a highway. There are more than 2,000 place names in Yorkshire originating from that Viking culture. Cowrie shells were used as currency, because they didn’t disintegrate and porcelain, named from the cowrie shell, was much prized in the UK.”
More than 3,000 pine cones were collected in the autumn from the gardens and stored for the installation The Pineapple Disc - a sculpture that fuses East and West. A Book Tree features logs carved with books encased in resin symbolising the process from tree to book, while the Cotton Tree alludes to Yorkshire’s industrial heritage.
Also new for 2019 is Norse Shelter by local craftsman Paul Grainger, an example of Viking occupation in the area.
An exhibition by Harrogate artist Anna Whitehouse will also feature in the visitor centre, exploring the fascinating microscopic world of pollen grains, together with her sketchbooks and photos of sculptures she has designed for the Himalayan Garden.
Anna created two large ceramic spheres from clay dug on site adorned with hundreds of ceramic pollen grains to sit at the entrance to the new rhododendron path, along which grow some of the rarest species in the garden. She will also be holding workshops, where participants can create pollen grain garden sculptures from clay dug from the Himalayan Garden.
Owner Peter said: “We started the garden because the acid soil, abundance of springs and microclimate is ideal for growing Himalayan plants. The planting enhances our large, internationally recognised art collection and we add more features every year.”
The Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park opens for 2019 between April 16 and July 14, and October 5 to November 3. Opening hours are 10am-4pm on Tuesdays to Sundays and Bank Holidays.
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park is a hidden gem; home to over 70 contemporary sculptures set within 45 acres in a beautiful valley, inspired by the Himalayas. As well as having one of the largest collections of sculptures in Yorkshire, it is recognised as having the north’s largest collection of rare rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias, comprising nearly 20,000 plants.