The Museum in the Park, Stroud.

Dates: Weds 1st February – Fri 4th March, Opening times: Tues – Fri 10-4pm, Sat – Sun 11-4pm.

Private view: Fri 3rd Feb 6-8pm.

This exhibition is the culmination of a 12 month residency in which Quercus, a Stroud based artist group, have been working in and responding to, the museum’s forgotten walled garden. The garden, situated adjacent to the museum and the old manor house that it once served, has now fallen into disrepair and lies forgotten and overgrown. The exhibition celebrates the garden in its current state but also examines gardens imagined and metaphorical, places of life and death, change and preservation, the fecund and the barren.

Quercus is a group of five sculptors based at Stroud Valleys Artspace: Ann-Margreth Bohl, Alison Cockroft, Emily Joy, Aimee Lax and Anna Usborne. These artists work with diverse methods, materials and themes but remain united through their appreciation of hands-on craft based making skills, despite much of their work being highly conceptual and ideas-led. Quercus’ work bridges fine art and craft with a deep regard for working method and materiality. It is anticipated that many of the responses to the walled garden will consist of ephemeral works that are made using materials from the garden itself, brought into the gallery space.

The garden first attracted the curiosity of the artists with its inviting stone steps and its ornate wrought-iron gate. Apparently a dormant, rested and peaceful place, Quercus discovered a different reality. The garden evokes nostalgia: it seems to present its loss and quiet in some small measure but in greater measure, a sense of bounty, pulse, heat and activity.




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