Art in the garden: wooden head

Art in the garden - wooden head

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.


18 Replies to “Art in the garden: wooden head”

    1. The Doddington exhibition was well curated – I remember finding a metal owl perched in an ancient looking tree, a huge pear under a fruit tree, metal dogs play-fighting in a field…

  1. I agree – there is something particularly beautiful about this wooden head. Art adds another dimension to a garden. I’ve always imagined finding something, or even better creating something, for my own garden – but haven’t achieved that goal yet:)

  2. heels over head , indeed. its just your latent repression tripping you up. love the enthusiasm.
    That collection of architectural art collecting dust in my garage now might find its final resting place, nestled in among the Green and gold.
    thanks for the inspiration.

  3. ooooo… I like this wooden head very much! It’s the carved wood that grabs my attention.
    I am a collector of beautiful frogs for my gardens… here in AZ and also in the midwest at my LakeHouse. Garden sculptors give our gardens a “uniqueness!”

    1. Yes, I liked the cracked effect on the top! I saw a sweet frog you’d perhaps have liked at The Arbor Gate in Texas recently – it was reading a book.

  4. The wooden sculpture is so wonderful for outdoor decoration. In our last trip in Bali, my husband has found one pretty wooden head from a craft man but at that time the craft man went somewhere else for lunch. Although we waited a long time, he did not come back and now my husband is still talking non stop about that piece of art which he cannot have.

  5. You are quite right about garden art, some of it seems to work and some of it doesn’t. And we all have different tastes in what we do and don’t like.

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