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International blacksmith Jenny Pickford hosts sculpture exhibition at Pensthorpe

One of the UK’s leading contemporary blacksmith artists, who has exhibited at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and created pieces for Wimbledon, Westfield London and as far away as China and Australia, has brought 17 of her glass and steel nature-inspired sculptures to Pensthorpe Natural Park, near Fakenham, for a six-week display from Saturday 31 August 2019.

Jenny Pickford’s exhibition of sculptures, which are inspired by plants and stand over three metres tall, are located against the backdrop of Piet Oudolf’s Millennium Garden, showcasing her unique combination of galvanized forged steel and blown glass sculptures and water features. Other sculptures are dotted around by the red squirrels and cranes, as well as in the Wetland Discovery Area.

Some of the key pieces she include Bluebell, Allium, Dandelion and Circles of Life.

Pensthorpe Jenny Pickford

Jenny, from rural Herefordshire, is renowned for her feminine perspective inspired by the spirit of nature. She has public art in four continents, including Australia, China, America and across the United Kingdom. One of her most notable works is the Bluebell sculpture at the Royal Derby Hospital in Derby, England, where it is in place to connect cancer patients with the hope and beauty of nature.

Pensthorpe purchased one of Jenny’s water features earlier this year, the Arum Lily, featuring blue glass flowers, which allows natural sunlight to pour into the glass.

Jenny was so impressed with Pensthorpe when she dropped off the sculpture that it led to this special exhibition, as Jenny explains: “I was absolutely blown away by Pensthorpe and its beautiful gardens. It is such a special place and the Millennium Garden is truly stunning and I am so grateful that Deb Jordan has allowed me to showcase my work for six weeks. My sculptures illustrate the co-existence and co-dependence of strength and fragility in the natural world and I have a real childlike awe and wonder toward nature. I hope that my sculptures help reconnect people with nature and highlight its beauty. What better setting than Pensthorpe to showcase some of my collection.”

Pensthorpe Jenny Pickford

Deb Jordan, owner of Pensthorpe Natural Park said: “Jenny designs her sculptures for outdoor installation, where they draw attention to the natural beauty around them, which is why we are delighted that she has chosen Pensthorpe to showcase her stunning works. Jenny’s Arum Lily sculpture has given me such pleasure on my morning walks around Pensthorpe and we have had so many guests commenting on the feature. I can’t wait to see her works towering above the foliage of our Millennium Garden and I know that visitors will be blown away by her creations, which each take three months to make.”

Jenny uses blacksmithing skills in her forge to transform industrial steel into a malleable form, bringing the piece to life. She uses special tools she has made herself, along with a fly press and 1930s-era power hammer. She obtains the glass pieces through partnerships with distinguished glass blowers.

Entry to the exhibition is included in Pensthorpe’s standard entry price. Adults £11.95, Seniors £10.95, Children £10.95, Under 3’s free. Receive £1 off per person when you book online. 

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