University Botanic Garden inspires Anglia Ruskin University sculpture students

By Rosie Clarke | 20 May 2009
an igloo shaped wooden sculpture

(Above) Willow Den Sculpture by Jenny Grainger. Picture © Rosie Clarke C24

Exhibition: Site-specific Sculpture by Cambridge School of Art Students, Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Cambridge, until May 22 2009

For the second year running, sculpture students from the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University have developed installations inspired by the Botanic Garden and its collections, eliciting disparate responses to the spaces, vistas and horticulture within.

Jo Miller's piece, 100 Days, consists of photographs documenting the seasonal changes in a Persian ironwood tree, printed, scrumpled, dipped in resin and strung from the tree's branches to spin and twirl in the breeze.

a sculpture hanging in a tree

100 Days by Jo Miller. Picture © Rosie Clarke C24

In an Andy Goldsworthy-style intervention, Emma Hughes' Spaces involves wrapping the branching trunks of the Caucasian wing nut tree with cord made from plant fibre to delineate the dimensions and relationships between every tree trunk in the grove.

wooden deer sculpture

9.5 Muntjac by Russell Cuthbert. Picture © Rosie Clarke C24

Jenny Grainger presents her Willow Den Sculpture, a delicate igloo-like structure reflecting the shape and seclusion of the curtain of branches extending from the cherry tree beside it.

floating sculptures on a pond

Untitled by Jane Bryant. Picture © Rosie Clarke C24

Jane Bryant's untitled wooden rings, floating tranquilly on the surface like water lily leaves, are based on diagrams of a plant's DNA structure.

hanging sculptures in a greenhouse

(Above) Compositae Stalactite Variegata (Coneflower Stalactite Variety) by Fiona Bennett. Picture © Rosie Clarke C24

Fiona Bennett responds to the morphology and textures of the many cacti in the greenhouse by hanging spiralling tactile cotton and jute stalactites from the ceiling, like newly-evolved species.

a sculpture of a man on a chair

Mr McRee by Joy Stacey. Picture © Rosie Clarke C24

Russell Cuthbert's life-size wooden muntjac deer seem almost real when turning a corner into their forest glade, as does Joy Stacey's seated gardener filled with twigs and leaves inspired by poetry.

a sculpture of a fairy

Flower Fairies by Sophie Johnson. Picture © Rosie Clarke C24

Sophie Johnson hides her tiny Flower Fairies around a woodland area, mixed in with flowers and foliage at child-height. Equally startling and sculptural, though, are the dramatic plants on display.

an exotic green plant

Jade Vine from the Philippines. Picture © Rosie Clarke C24

Open 10am - 6pm (except July 18 2009), admission £4/£3.50 (free for under-16s). Call 01223 336265 or visit Cambridge University Botanic Garden online.

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