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.

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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.

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.

Visiting Devon Sculpture Park

The Capability Brown gardens and ‘ART WILDED’ exhibition are open from Wednesday to Sunday, 10am – 4pm. Adults £12, children under 12 £6.

We also host group visits and guided art tours across the entire park. Book an art tour – CLICK HERE.

At opening over 100 sculptures and artworks will be in place across 40 acres of the park and gardens.

Getting here

Mamhead Park (South) is just above Mamhead and Ashcombe, a few miles South of Exeter. From the A380 exit at Great Haldon Hill coming from Exeter, or Mamhead coming North from Newton Abbott.

Follow the lane signed Mamhead & Dawlish for 3/4 mile and take the first right turn to Ashcombe & Dawlish. Continue straight on this lane for 1 mile. At the bottom of the hill turn left at the junction to Mamhead Village Hall. The entrance to Devon Sculpture Park is on the left after 300 yds.

Whichever way you come you can only enter the sculpture park from the Southern entrance to Mamhead Park.

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