“Contemporary Glass Blooms in the Prairie Gardens”
What can be better than strolling around a beautiful garden on a summer’s day? Well, a wander through the Sussex Prairies in West Sussex, England, will see you able to interact not only with an array of beautiful flora and fauna but also with a dazzling array of contemporary glass created by members of the Contemporary Glass Society. The Contemporary Glass Society is the UK’s premier promoter of contemporary glass and supporter of contemporary glass artists. www.cgs.org.uk
Sussex Prairie Gardens www.sussexprairies.co.uk is Britain’s largest “Prairie,” or “Naturalistic,” garden, with eight acres of stunning garden to roam around. The ‘Expressions of Nature’3D sculpture exhibition, organised and curated by Gabrielle Argent, features established and emerging glass and mixed media artists from around the UK. One of these artists is Susan Purser Hope who is both a professional glass artist and also the Chair of the Contemporary Glass Society.
As Susan excitedly explains, “This is my first external sculpture exhibition. The gardens are so inspiring and the relationship between the plants and my work changes as every day the garden produces new growth and the planting becomes generous and voluminous. My work looks spectacular placed amongst the drought-resistant perennials and grasses which will continue to grow throughout the summer and autumn. “
Susan’s work comprises of two ammonite studies placed onto black, steel stands located into flower beds. Susan is fascinated by ammonite forms and their journey through history. Ammonites lie buried for millennia only to reappear in a form that is a ghostly echo of their original forms. The Ammonites address this return by imagining the thousands of seasons that they have lain dormant in the rock. Each piece celebrates the colours of the seasons that they have been shut away from but can once again experience as they are exposed to the sun light and natural elements once again.
Susan introduces her Glass House sculpture, “The pandemic saw us all confined to our homes and local environs. One of the major sensations that I missed was the excitement and enjoyment of travelling to and enjoying other landscapes, buildings and societies. This is the first of a series of Glass Houses that I intend to create that will celebrate places that I miss or that I will now probably never get to physically see. This reminds me of my former home in Norfolk’s Poppyland.”
“This is an immersive exhibition which invites visitors to explore art in the landscape,” says glass artist, curator and CGS Regional Co-ordinator, Gabrielle Argent. “Each sculpture has been placed to interact with the plants around it, complementing the colours, textures, and lifecycle of the prairie planting. The placing of the artwork is in sync with the orientation of the sun to make it sing with colour, texture and meaning. The result is a glorious experience for visitors within the stunning prairie planting. Artists have embraced the brief in such innovative ways. Visitors can switch off and tune into the therapeutic benefits of nature in this beautiful open space.”
The exhibition continues until mid October so enjoy the glorious glass artwork blossoming in the Prairie Gardens!