'Elements of Capability' sculpture show

Cows grazing by the River Avon near Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire

'Elements of Capability' is an intriguing outdoor sculpture show inspired by the work of landscape designer, Lancelot 'Capability' Brown. The artwork will be displayed in Lacock's abbey grounds from 30 April to 22 May.

Capability at Lacock

Archives hold four receipts for work that Capability Brown carried out at Lacock Abbey but they only list the amount he was paid, not the work he did, and, despite visits by Capability experts, the team at Lacock can only guess what might have happened.
'There used to be a large formal pleasure garden here next to the River Avon,' said Head Gardener, Sue Carter, 'at about this time that disappeared and was replaced by the field landscape that remains today. But, we really cannot say exactly what Capability Brown did here.'
Wire swallows by Celia Smith
Three flying swallows made of wire by artist Celia Smith
Wire swallows by Celia Smith

Aspects of design

The show commemorates the 300th anniversary of the birth of Capability Brown, whose vision transformed the grounds of the landed gentry in the 1700s.

The sculptures will echo Brown's artistic vision and reflect the central elements of his designs: wide open skies, rolling meadows, hills fringed by woodland, placid reflective lakes and grazing animals.

Fragmentation II by Melissa Cole
Close up of Fragmentation II, a sculpture by Melissa Cole
Fragmentation II by Melissa Cole

The artists

Featured artists include Melissa Cole, Celia Smith, Annie Mulholland, Woody Fox, Lisa Pettibone, Lucy Strachan, Anna Gillespie and Raymond Wirick.

They bring a great variety of skills and mediums to Lacock; from colourful stained glass, to willow, from wire, to astro-turf.

" We are very lucky to have so many brilliant artists included in the show."
- Rachael Holtom, Visitor Experience Officer

There will be the opportunity to meet some of the talented artists behind 'Elements of Capability' on two special dates in May:

8 May 2016, 10.30am – 4pm

Melissa Cole, Lucy Strachan and Celia Smith will be around the abbey grounds providing guided walks and answering questions about their creations.

22 May 2016, 10.30am – 4pm

Woody Fox will be working on one of his willow sculptures while Annie Mulholland and Lisa Pettibone will be on hand to chat about their works.