We’ve added four striking new sculptures to the Langmoor Gardens in Lyme Regis.

Works by Dorset artists Brendon Murless, Isla Chaney and recent graduate Carrie Mason are now displayed in the public gardens. They were chosen by emerging curator Nikki Hawkins, in a role we created as part of the project. The artists and curator were paid for their work and the whole project cost £5,000. Funding came from Lyme Forward through Lyme Regis Town Council.

Praise from townsfolk

The new works have attracted warm praise from townsfolk. Lyme Regis town councillor Cheryl Reynolds said: ‘Even on dull, wet days, the sculptures light up the gardens.’

Sarah James, our chief executive, said: ‘Art helps create better public places for everyone. I hope these sculptures will encourage visitors to linger longer, spending more time in the town and perhaps bringing more income for the local economy.’

‘The Air We Breathe’

We picked Brendon Murless’ piece ‘The Air We Breathe’ as one of the four sculptures. Made of steel and patinated copper, it shows a tree with clear structural similarities between human lungs and tree branches.

Brendon said: ‘It has an environmental message highlighting the importance of trees for air and life. I am really pleased it was selected because I’m interested in exploring ways to get my work into public art settings.’ Brendon is based at Brown’s Farm workshops in Nettlecombe near Bridport.

Curator Nikki Hawkins found the experience hugely rewarding: ‘It’s been amazing. From the initial selection, working with the local advocates, pulling all the paperwork together and then the actual physical installation. It’s grown my network to include artists and others whom I hope to work with again on future projects. I’m interested in taking art into new spaces, environments and experiences.’

Local sponsors Hix and Lyme Bay Holidays

Cleo Evans at The Arts Development Company managed the project, in liaison with Lyme Forward, the town council and local sponsors Hix and Lyme Bay Holidays.

Cleo said: ‘I hope we can now work with locals to raise further funding to develop the sculpture trail. Hix are planning a fundraising auction and dinner in November and it would be good to get auction lots and sponsorship for that. It would be great to extend the trail and organise night-time events.’

BRANCHING OUT: Pictured from left to right, curator Nikki Hawkins, project manager Cleo Evans from The Arts Development Company, sculptor Brendon Murless, The Arts Development Company chief executive Sarah James, Cllr Cheryl Reynolds, John Calder, Hix Oyster and Fish House chef Ben Fuzzard, Hix restaurant manager Robert Moretto and Lyme Regis Town Council deputy clerk Mark Green. They are standing by Brendan’s sculpture ‘The Air We Breathe’ in Langmoor Gardens in Lyme Regis.