Nestled in a beautiful, sheltered Cornish valley, with Mounts Bay quietly looking on from the horizon, a garden’s evolving programme of contemporary artwork is making some serious noise in the world’s media.
Installations by internationally renowned artists pepper the gardens at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, creating a dramatic landscape of contemplative yet inspirational artworks interwoven with exotic, tropical plants.
Owner Neil Armstrong’s vision for Tremenheere has been sculpted by the idea that “planting, landscape, and art all have to work with each other.” Since purchasing the land near Penzance in 1997, Neil has transformed the 22-acre site into a sensory wonderland by doing just that – with the plant life and art installations at Tremenheere working in perfect harmony.
More than twenty artists, including five members of the Royal Academy of Arts – James Turrell, Richard Long, David Nash, Peter Randall-Page and Tim Shaw – have created site-specific permanent works of art amongst these gardens in Cornwall.
“The concept is to have a balance of artwork and planting within a beautiful landscape – allowing room for all elements to flourish with the idea in mind that the number of artworks is kept limited but of high quality and presence,” Neil explained.
It’s been a year like no other for Tremenheere – but in a very different way to how you might expect…
A year of success
Neil and his team are celebrating after winning a string of high profile awards. The Spectator named Tremenheere as one of ‘Britain’s best sculpture parks’ calling it a “dreamlike landscape,” and reinforcing that whilst the art installations are second to none, the gardens are “just as big a draw.”
The Telegraph then named Tremenheere as one of their favourite silent space gardens. It highlighted the Chelsea Garden area by Darren Hawkes, a series of slate platforms that overlook a pond with dragonflies and a majestic willow, as a particular attraction.
Finally, and perhaps Tremenheere’s most famous art installation, ‘The Skyspace’ was named amongst the best outdoor artworks by The Guardian. The installation, created by James Turrell, is a spectacular, elliptical domed chamber, designed as a space from which to view the sky, especially at twilight.
Neil said,“It’s been really uplifting for all the team at Tremenheere to receive praise and recognition from national and international press. These awards and positive reviews provide invaluable publicity and are great for the morale of everyone working in difficult times.”
Sculptures & exhibitions
A number of new and major installations have been added to the artistic collection at Tremenheere over the past 18 months.
A set of five brightly-coloured figures created by Alice Irwin and called ‘People Play’ is now sited on the grass bank between Tremenheere Gallery and Tremenheere Kitchen, and ’Crypto-Synthesis’ by Philip Rae Scott, a large-scale arresting steel structure, now sits between Tremenheere Line and the Skyspace.
Additionally, Thomas Irvine and Amy Oliver completed “Holding Breath,” a huge 11m long metal work commission, and several smaller but powerful installations by Seamus Moran, Janet McEwan and Sheila Williams have also been established in the gardens.
Tremenheere regularly runs exhibitions and is currently showcasing ‘Eternal Life (The Miracles of Love)’ by Toby O’Brien, and ‘Playing with Thought’ by Alice Irwin.
Neil added, “Open space and walking in a calm soothing environment struck a chord with locals and visitors. We’ve been very busy with new artworks, a busy gallery schedule, restaurant guests and weddings – visitor numbers have risen sharply since reopening!”