Your Creative, Rewilded Retreat

Your Creative, Rewilded Retreat

Devon Sculpture Park is a creative, rewilded retreat. Refresh and reimagine surrounded by art, Wilded Capability Brown gardens, ancient waterways, wildlife and endless sea views.

‘One of the most beautiful gardens I have seen…’ Toby Buckland, gardener, TV presenter and author.

This timeless, historic retreat has been carefully restored to enable visitors to deepen their creative energies. A recent visitor described it as ‘a place in perfect harmony’. A place where raw, primitive environmental art settles alongside thought provoking conceptual sculpture and edgy Street art. Where art is place and the place is art. Where living sculpture can thrive.

Drop-in adults retreat for a few hours or the whole day for £12. View art, visit the Wilded Capability Brown gardens, understand Rewilding and talk with artists. Wander the cascade gardens and take in the endless sea views. Relax from bench to bench. Reach back in time. Lean into your inner self.

You can settle in at The Terraces for slow cooked, healthy cooking with relaxed, informal service.

Come to this extraordinary retreat to rest or sketch. Relax and write. Ponder or perform. Meditate or mediate. Design or draw. Film or photograph. Invent, co-create, make or simply reconnect. Find it here, Rewild yourself. Creatively retreat.

Companies, charities and public sector bodies can retreat for a day starting at £50 per person including room hire, lunch, refreshments, intro talk and walk plus access to the art exhibitions and Wilded Capability Brown gardens. To enquire about company retreats contact hello@devonsculpturepark.org.

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.

Capability Brown Gardens

Capability Brown Gardens

The Capability Brown gardens at Devon Sculpture Park are extraordinary. Capability Brown was commissioned over 250 years ago to design one of his only seascapes and probably his most intimate garden. Today it is one of the last remaining Capability Brown gardens in the South West.

Painstakingly restored, the gardens boast historic water gardens, rows of signature Capability Brown Cedar trees, a lake carved into Haldon Hill and an impressive series of connected beds that keep going twelve months of the year thanks to the unique design, aspect and micro-climate. The gardens are the first truly Wilded historic gardens showcasing natural climate solutions.

There are specific Autumn and Winter gardens, wild gardens, Romanesque courtyard and terrace wrap-around gardens plus a Tuscan style terraced kitchen garden.

We believe we have developed a nationally important collection of trees while fusing UK West country plants with Mediterranean species. We put nature first. Birds, bees, butterfly, moths and waterfowl abound. The gardens are surrounded by one of the UK’s leading Rewilding projects.

Come and see for yourself. The Capability Brown gardens and the outdoor and indoor exhibitions are open from Wednesday to Sunday, 10am – 4pm. Adults £12, children under 12 £6.

‘Art Wilded’ Exhibition

The inaugural outdoor exhibition in the Capability Brown gardens is ‘ART WILDED’ by resident artist Philip Letts. We are open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am – 4pm. Adults £12, children under 12 £6.

We also host group visits and guided tours. Book a Guided Art Tour – CLICK HERE.

The exhibition is a series of contemporary sculpture installations blending conceptual and abstract themes that examine the clash between modern society, technology, environment and nature. The overarching theme is ‘Man versus nature’.

Resident artist, Philip Letts, has been shown in leading art fairs across the world and has had a number of solo exhibitions in New York, London and Paris. He is best known for his relentless push into new media from abstract photography to mixed media, digital art, sculpture, installation and performance art. He focuses on urban culture and its relentless pressure on community and the environment.

Philip helps us challenge our place in the continuum of nature. Nature and urbanization are too often at odds leading to the degradation of the environment. It is more important than ever to work together to deal with climate change and the destruction of our land, wildlife and biodiversity.

‘Art Wilded’ is the first annual outdoor exhibition in the Capability Brown gardens at Devon Sculpture Park.

Book a Guided Art TourCLICK HERE. To arrange a group tour (minimum 10 people) email us at hello@devonsculpturepark.org.

Open Air Permanent Collection

Devon Sculpture Park has a sizable permanent collection of individual sculptures and installations. Developed over many decades the Open Air collection is now open to visitors. Visit us and book a Guided Art Tour – CLICK HERE.

Sculptures in the rewilded parkland reflect the extraordinary contours of the land and endless seascapes.

The permanent collection includes the largest collection of resident artist Letts’ environmental artworks plus dozens of sculptures from other leading UK artists.

Open scrub and woodland house an eclectic mix of environmental installations and graffiti art.

The Capability Brown gardens above the 800 year old church house sculptures installed decades ago.

Nearly 100 artworks can be viewed across 50 acres of the sculpture park.

Book a Guided Art TourCLICK HERE. To organise a group visit (minimum 10 people) email us at hello@devonsculpturepark.org.

A Rewilding Centre

A Rewilding Centre

Devon Sculpture Park is surrounded by parkland and a recently established Wilding Project. Book a Wilding Tour – CLICK HERE.

Nearly 100 acres have been rewilded letting the land and nature return to their ancient, organic roots. Ploughing and fertiliser destroy the soil and damage our fragile environment – we do neither.

We nurture and support wildlife to manage the land with us. Ponies, Roe deer and small rare breed sheep top grass and keep invasive weed back. Alpacas lift lower canopy, protect new born lambs and eat thistle. Pigs manage scrub.

An extraordinary array of birds, bees and butterfly share our trees and hedgerow with field mice, bugs, hedge hogs and snakes.

Our lakes support a rich variety of fish, newt and dragonfly with duck and heron frequent visitors.

We believe the combination of sculpture park and rewilding project is unique. The wildlife and nature are a part of the overall installation, of our living art. Environmental, sustainable art is the future. Environmental issues are vital for artists to attack.

An Outdoor Centre for the Arts

Devon Sculpture Park is a new kind of outdoor art centre. We are not just one of the UK’s larger sculpture parks by acreage, we have the ambition to be a broader centre for the arts.

We were established by resident artist, Philip Letts, to support sculpture, visual arts both indoor and outdoor plus design, film, theatre, books, music, cooking and innovation.

At the bottom of the Capability Brown gardens is a sizable natural amphitheatre where we plan to host theatre, music and performance art – overlooking the sea.

We are a platform for artists to show how uniquely they can challenge our thinking, how effectively they enable us to see things differently. If you would like to talk to us about putting on an event just email hello@devonsculpturepark.org. We would love to hear from you.