It’s hard to explain why one particular work of art immediately appeals to you, while another doesn’t. It’s often an instinctive, love-at-first-sight for me – something that defies reason. I fell head over heels for this the moment I first saw it in an English garden. That’s by no means unique in my life, though never in quite such a literal way (head over heels – oh, well – be like that!)
I wish I could say this giant head was mine, but sadly, I only have the memory of our chance meeting in the shrubbery at Doddington Hall, near Lincoln.
Why did I fall for this one out of the many lovely pieces on display? I can only hazard a guess.
It’s classical but modern; the grain is lovely; it’s weather beaten but resilient; it’s a nice size. The expression makes me think this could be a Star Trek character: a resting traveller; someone thoughtful, dignified; one you ought not take too much for granted.
The wooden head was perfectly positioned along a path close to the house, with leafy Bergenias in the foreground and something larger and more feathery in the rear.
A perfect place to rest and think.
It seemed made to be there – placing art well in a garden is an art in itself – though I believe it was just on display as part of an Art Exhibition, several years ago.
Garden art polarises opinions: I’ve always related to the idea that we are defined by what we dislike as much as by what we like. I’m still learning about my tastes and gradually broadening my outlook – most English gardeners are repressed when it comes to garden art.
I’ll just observe that it seems the more forms of garden art we can learn to like, the more fun we’re going to have.