FOUR striking new sculptures have been added to Langmoor Gardens in Lyme Regis under the guidance of The Arts Development Company.
Works by Dorset artists Brendon Murless, Isla Chaney and recent graduate Carrie Mason are now displayed in the public gardens.
They were chosen by emerging curator Nikki Hawkins, in a role created by The Arts Development Company.
The artists and curator were paid for their work and the whole project cost £5,000, with funding coming from LymeForward through Lyme Regis Town Council.
The new works have attracted warm praise from residents and visitors.
Lyme Regis town councillor Cheryl Reynolds, chairman of the Tourism, Community & Publicity Committee, said: “Even on dull, wet days, the sculptures light up the gardens.”
Sarah James, chief executive of The Arts Development Company added: “Art helps create better public places for everyone. I hope these sculptures will encourage visitors to linger longer, spending more time in the town and perhaps bringing more income for the local economy.”
Brendon Murless’ piece is called ‘The Air We Breathe’. Made of steel and patinated copper, it shows a tree with clear structural similarities between human lungs and tree branches.
Brendon said: “It has an environmental message highlighting the importance of trees for air and life. I am really pleased it was selected because I’m interested in exploring ways to get my work into public art settings.”
Brendon is based at Brown’s Farm workshops in Nettlecombe, near Bridport.
Curator Nikki Hawkins found the experience hugely rewarding.
“It’s been amazing,” she commented, “from the initial selection, working with the local advocates, pulling all the paperwork together and then the actual physical installation.
“It’s grown my network to include artists and others whom I hope to work with again on future projects. I’m interested in taking art into new spaces, environments and experiences.”
The whole project was managed by Cleo Evans at The Arts Development Company, in liaison with LymeForward, the town council and local sponsors Hix Oyster & Fish House and Lyme Bay Holidays, building on the existing sculpture trail in the gardens, initially set up by local artist John Calder as part of ArtsFest.
Cleo said: “I hope we can now work with locals to raise further funding to develop the sculpture trail.
“Hix are planning a fundraising auction and dinner in November and it would be good to get auction lots and sponsorship for that.
“It would be great to extend the trail and organise night-time events.”