Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens — Cornwall, UK
On a recent jaunt to the south-west we ventured into the pages of the Cornwall Guide by Weekend Journals and found ourselves near Penzance at a rugged and surprisingly quiet (for a hot day in the middle of the summer holidays) Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens.
Our first encounter of the site was to spend 15 minutes in the near-complete darkness of a small converted water tank. Although that sounds a little bizarre it becomes more normal once we explain that it was all part of an artwork by light/vision legend, James Turrell. The tank has a small hole in it's roof with a mirror and becomes a camera obscura; we waited in the dark long enough our eyes to adjust and the view from directly above the tank was projected onto the wall in front of us. As there isn't quite enough light to wake up all of the cells in our eyes we see the tree canopy in black and white. We took the picture below from on top of the tank to give an idea of what we saw but it's really one of those things that is best appreciated in person.
Exiting the tank and re-entering the daylight made the colours outside seem much more vivid; the orange of the crocosmia and various fungi popped against a verdant green background.
The artwork displayed at Tremenheere all seems to stem from ideas of the earth and has a real connection to nature which is so fitting given where the sculptures sit. Each piece we had to discover rather than having it offered to us and we found that all the more engaging. A particular favourite was Turrell's Skyspace and the line of grasses that Richard Long uses to point to the sea whilst referencing the waves with movement.
Most of all we enjoyed the way that the artwork made us see texture and form in things that grew in the grounds and appreciate the cracks in the dry earth for their sculptural qualities, or the graphic lines of bamboo.
We absolutely recommend a visit to Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens.