The more you look, the more you see at 'on form', an exquisite exhibition of sculpture, mostly for the garden and all in stone, at Asthall Manor in Burford, Oxfordshire.
Even objects that do not look like stone - cushions round the pool; a rusting tin can; a 'cardboard' box with 'polysytrene' packaging - turn out to be stone that is part of the exhibition.
Asthall Manor is the home of Rosie Pearson, who curates the two-yearly exhibition with Anna Greenacre. This time there are nearly 100 more exhibits than there were last time. There are 384 sculptures from 40 artists. The first time the exhibition was held, in 2002, there were 56 sculptures by 10 artists.
Three of the artists in that original exhibition have had work in each subsequent one. But Rosie likes to provide exposure to up-and-coming stone carvers and 11 of this year's artists are new to 'on form'. They include Alex Wenham, who was once again a winner at the European Stone Festival in May, held this time in Severne, France, and Tom Waugh, the British sculptor who won both the People’s Choice category and the Sculpture category in this year's Rise Art Prize. Their work appears alongside artists such as Peter Randall-Page RA and Helaine Blumenfeld OBE.
The work is shown in 14 acres of gardens, so be prepared to walk if you visit the exhibition. Also be prepared to use all your senses - because you are encouraged to touch as well as look, while the beautiful gardens under the care of head gardener Jennifer Barnes delight with sound and smell.
It is so worth a day out - or more, if you can make it because it is on until 8 July.
Below are some pictures from this year's exhibition and there will be more about it in the next issue of Natural Stone Specialist magazine.