Gormley and Caro Roche Court

The New Art Centre Roche Court near Salisbury Wiltshire is a breath-taking open air sculpture park set within the dramatic hills of southeast Wiltshire. Gormley and Caro Roche Court

It is a pure joy to wander through the gardens against the backdrop of the stunning landscape and enjoy the spaces occupied by the modern and contemporary works of art.

Antony Gormley ‘Break’
Antony Gormley ‘Break’

In 2019 on BBC Radio 4, Antony Gormley spoke of sculpture changing the real world, being no longer a mere reference to it and no longer dependent upon it. Sculpture doesn’t need a wall, a room or even a label to exist. Its presence occupies its own space and thus it can alter people’s behaviour.

Gormley and Caro Roche Court

Antony Gormley ‘Before’

Cast your mind to some of the world’s most dramatic and successful architecture and sculpture. Consider the landscape, the room even: the space that it occupies. Think of how the human-made presence has enhanced or destroyed the ambience of an otherwise vacant scene. It is then possible to consider the vast impact that human’s constructed artefact has had on the space it occupies for good or ill. It cannot be ignored.

Anthony Caro ‘Palanquin’
Anthony Caro ‘Double Tent’

In painting, two classic examples: John Constable’s ‘The Hay Wain’ and Thomas Gainsborough’s ‘Mr and Mrs Andrews’. How routine Constable’s work would be without the narrative of the human presence and how boring (even maybe) Gainsborough’s work would be with Mr and Mrs Andrews staring out at us with their story.

But back to sculpture…

Anthony Caro ‘Fossil Flats’
opps – lost the tile of this …
Barry Flanagan ‘ Large left-handed Drummer’

So, it is with sculpture occupying idyllic landscape. It adds considerable enhancement. It gives us something to think about, to consider, to contemplate, to form an opinion on, to seek further reference, to compare and contrast, to add to our body of experience and knowledge. Where would we be without sculpture?

And at Roche Court: inside too:

Allen Jones ‘Small Backward Bend’
Gavin Turk ‘Desert Scenario’
Reg Butler ‘Study for Circus’
F E McWilliam ‘Up the Grass Roots’
Dorothy Cross ‘Branch’
Richard Long ‘River Avon Mud on Wood’

Therefore, on a hot, sunny afternoon, a visit to Roche Court was pure indulgence.

Antony Gormley in the Orangery

… and there’s loads more to see … and it’s always changing – together with the seasons – giving a marvellous moving theatre of theses artists’ ingenuity and feeding our cultural well-being.

Gormley and Caro Roche Court