Chelsea 2014

'Sense to touch' - Sculpture Garden

Last year, I found myself in the enviable position of working with an incredibly talented Sculptor, Chris Webb who decided to take the plunge and exhibit his work at RHS Chelsea. He approached me to initially help him with the marketing of his work for Chelsea, and later commissioned me to design his stand because at the time I was in the thick of my garden design course and he wanted to give me the opportunity to have a go at the challenge, which of course I leapt at.

My initial concept was called 'Sense to touch'. Inspired by a recent collector who is blind, the concept ‘Sense to Touch’ aimed to create a space where visitors felt relaxed and warmly invited to freely touch and explore his work at their own pace. Each sculpture would be thoughtful positioned within a themed garden setting, each setting beautifully planted and styled to complement each sculpture. Four individual settings would allow the audience to visualise how the work might translate itself into their own gardens. 

The design of the stand would allow for the natural flow of people to stop, sit, touch, relax and pause... for a while, and calmly enjoy multiple viewpoints of  the sculptures. 

There was the added twist that upon arrival to the stand directly ahead slightly obscured by a yew hedge screen with a porthole cut through in the middle, behind which, Chris would be working on the completion of a 'working piece' carving in a ‘pop-up’ workshop. Surrounded by sketches, Radio 4 softly playing in the background, mugs of tea, bourbons... this space would allow people to watch Chris at work and ask any questions they might have, or to simply have a good ol’natter. 

Sadly we didn't get manage to secure the sponsorship we needed to give 'Sense to Touch' garden the result it deserved. So I had another idea up my sleeve. But to view the full proposal I submitted for Sponsorship click below:

There are several posts in my blog that talk about my journey to Chelsea, which if you're interested in, do have a nose at. 

The concept that we could 'afford' was a hugely scaled down version, it resembled more like a collectors roof garden and I used a simple palate of planting, mainly grasses, bamboo and plants with interesting foliage. We had to consider a shelter of sorts incase it rained and Jacksons Fencing very kindly came to our rescue and sponsored us with one of their beautiful 'garden retreat' shelters. We were also very lucky to have Theo, from Theo Cooks, quarter finalist from Masterchef 2014 come and help launch our stand on the private view day at Chelsea,  armed with delicious homemade chocies! 

Here is a collection of photos from our time at Chelsea, an unforgettable experience and one day I would so love to do again.



Sculptor's garden