Lettering Arts Trust relaunch Art & Memory collection at Grimsthorpe Castle

'How Good is Man's Life the Mere Living' by Ralph Beyer.

The Lettering Arts Trust relaunched its Art & Memory collection at Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire earlier this week. In total, there are 57 artworks in the collection and 25 of those can be found at the castle – the rest are located at other sites including: Arnos Vale Cemetary, Bristol; Blair Castle, Pitlochry; Canterbury Cathedral, Kent; St Peter’s decommissioned church at Corpusty, Norfolk; and Winterbourne House & Garden, Edgbaston. 

This national collection considers the notion and art of remembrance and these works were created by some of the UK’s leading lettering artists.

Sheena Devitt's 'Seed Shop' combines stainless steel with Highland Moor Sandstone

Located in the old walled garden, visitors can wander through the collection at their own pace exploring the different ideas, materials used, and styles of these respected lettering artists in juxtaposition with nature.

On 15 September 2024, there will be a guided tour of the Art & Memory collection at Grimsthorpe with tour guides representing the Lettering Arts Trust who will provide insights into the individual artworks, the artists’ inspirations, techniques and their fascinating careers. 

'Silver Moon, Golden Sun' by Harry Brockway features an extract of The Song of the Wandering Aengus by WB Yeats. The stone used is Portland Stone.

At Grimsthorpe Castle there are works by artists including: Ralph Beyer (who carved the famous ‘Tablets of the Word’ at Coventry Cathedral) and Peter Foster, his assistant; Harry Brockway; Andrew Whittle (who created the inscription to the back wall for the 'Animals in War’ memorial in Park Lane, London);  Annet Stirling (designing and carving lettering for The National Gallery, The National Portrait Gallery, The Royal Opera House and The Festival Hall), Sheena Devitt (an award winning visual artist and stone sculptor based in Northern Ireland) and Karim Lahham (Islamic Scholar, barrister and stonemason).


Detail of 'Six Stones – a memorial to lost and endangered species' by Andrew Whittle carved in Portland Stone.

Of the collection, Sebastian St Maur Miller of Grimsthorpe said: “Grimsthorpe are thrilled to be the custodians of what is now the largest display of The National Art & Memory Collection. It’s been a real labour of love to landscape the Walled Garden around these pieces and we are looking forward to relaunching this collection to show visitors how beautiful contemporary memorials can be.”

Mark Noad, Chair of the Lettering Arts Trust added: “To create and hand carve fine lettering is a hard-won skill, with a longstanding heritage that the Lettering Arts Trust is pleased and determined to support through its programme of apprenticeships and journeymen. For more than 30 years, this charity has raised public awareness for lettering as an art form. The Art & Memory Collection serves to remind and prompt us that the act of commemoration can be beautiful and original in the hands of an artist.”  

Peter Foster (Ralph Beyer Design) created 'The Archaic Torso of Apollo' was inspired by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke and is carved in Purbeck Thornback Stone.

The Lettering Arts Trust’s charitable aim is to sustain the precious heritage craft of letter cutting. Its commissioning service offers advice and guidance for public and private clients to commission commemorative artworks to mark special and significant occasions, be they memorials to past lives; original artworks for the garden; or unique and personal mementos as for marriages, birthdays and naming ceremonies.    

To find out more about the work of the Trust, visit letteringartstrust.org.uk 
More information about Grimsthorpe Castle can be found at: grimsthorpe.co.uk