An Art Historian’s Review of Devon Sculpture Park

A secret discovered in the heart of Devon.

Art in the Devon Sculpture Park

Rosemary Cieri, Art Historian and Exhibition Curator

Arrived in this remote part of England – perhaps one of the most scenic I have seen- I proceeded to my assignment: A report on an exhibition of the latest art concerned with our most immediate problems: the destruction of our nature, our world, and our divine right to inhabit it.

This happened to be in the Devon Sculpture Park, 100 acres unknown to me, in perhaps the most beautiful part of Devon I have seen; with hills gently rolling down to the mouth of the River Exe and the open sea. A centre of rewilding, the new way to look after trees, plants, grasses and animals, who all live here in blissful harmony.

Image result for the thinker rodin

I discovered the impacting art of an artist, Philip Letts, English but known throughout the world (from New York to Beirut) for his groundbreaking art, progressive, but full of human history, of humanity faced with today’s problems. In a series of installations with paintings, sculpture, worked out with metal… we see animals alive and as skeletons, these last produced by man and industry’s impact on the natural world they need to survive.

Some of these installations shown here made me face problems until now partly ignored, but which made me think like Rodin’s “The Thinker” sitting and reflecting on our world. On leaving I saw similar types of sculptures scattered throughout the Devon Sculpture Park which, like me, were reflecting on our present dilemmas. Enhancement, vitality and energy stems from Philip Letts’ art, an art provocative, enlightening, as art should be and above all inspiring.

‘Textures’ Inaugural Indoor Exhibition

Devon Sculpture Park’s new indoor exhibition space at The Sheds opened on Saturday 29th June with ‘Textures’, a mixed media show of resident artist Philip Letts latest works.

‘Textures’ is a layered combination of mixed media art that challenges us to reflect on ourselves, our environment and the issues that surround us.

Each piece is a theatrical, layered examination of modern challenges including climate change, urbanisation, commercialisation and waste. The art speaks for itself behaving as an emotional mirror for us to reflect on and in.

‘Textures’ is a series of resident artist Letts’ most recent works. The collection fuses sculpture with tones of rugged street art rubbing against metal, plastics, textile, bone and wood.

Each artwork behaves as a mini installation. Theatrical, performant, conceptual but always raw, challenging us to think about our impact on the environment and community surrounding us. Are we materialist and selfish? Or more open and caring. We can decide.

Philip Letts is a recognised international artist. He has been represented at most of the leading art fairs around the world and has had a number of solo exhibitions in major galleries in New York, London, Paris and Beirut. He is collected widely.

Philip is passionate about large, global projects that challenge convention and attempt to design groundbreaking solutions to social, environmental and market issues. He is also the founder of Devon Sculpture Park.

The Capability Brown gardens and main outdoor and indoor exhibitions are open from Wednesday to Sunday, 10am – 4pm. Adults £12, children (under 12) £6.