Election day, Saturday was not for the faint-hearted, but a hardy few did brave the cold and gusty southerly and driving rain, to walk through the gardens, amongst Bee Doughty-Pratt and husband Snow’s amazing outdoor gallery of sculptures. This changed on Sunday which was sunny and hundreds of lookers came to see a gloriously eclectic display fit to grace any garden. Quirky and interesting, curved and elegant, large, solid and imposing or just about anything in-between, these wonderful art-works have been well-placed in a lovely setting at ’SCAPE Sculpture Park.
Situated on the banks of the Otaki River, up towards the Forks, the garden is large enough to hold 52 diverse pieces of inspiring garden art. Three metre high steel dandelions, a five metre long, very colourful dinosaur, steel fern parasols hung in the trees, a larger than life-size horse made of chicken wire mesh ‘running’ the length of the fence and much more, all displayed in a mature garden large enough to feature such a number of imposing sculptures. Magnolias in full bloom, trees in blossom and the fresh Spring green of the willows over-hanging the ponds, at this time of the year, added to the ambiance. As the sculptures are sold, they are replaced with equally impressive and quite different masterpieces from sculptors from all over New Zealand.
Bee was on hand to discuss her abstract landscape paintings, large, subtle and beautiful as she worked on her current commissions.
’Scape is the only such permanent sculpture park in the lower half of the North Island and offers a unique experience to all who make the excursion. Already becoming known as the place to go for those looking to purchase a significant outdoor artwork, the setting is also attracting those who just want to enjoy the relaxed environment. The next time ’Scape, at 91 Parenga Road will be open to view, rain, hail or shine, will be from Labour weekend in October through to the Kapiti Arts Trail weekend in November, from 10am to 4pm (will be closed most weekdays). Several additional sculptures will have been installed on the property by then. A pop-up cafe will be running on site during the Kapiti Arts Trail weekend and weather permitting, there will be live music in the gardens late in the day on both Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 November. Check out the website at www.scapesculpturepark.co.nz for more detailed open day information.