Following a successful debut last year, the Matombo Garden Sculpture Exhibition will return to Knebworth House on 16th June and will be on display through the 28-acres of Formal Gardens until 2nd September for both the enjoyment of visitors and for collectors to purchase.
“Matombo” means “stone” in the Shona language, a fitting name given that the exhibition is believed to be the largest display of stone sculpture in the South of England. Featuring the work of renowned and emerging artists from all over Zimbabwe, the sculptures are purchased directly from solo artists, community workshops and co-operatives and are available to buy until the end of the exhibition in September. Orlando Compton, whose family owns Newby Hall, together with travelling Zimbabwean sculptors Dudzai Mushawepwere, Matthew Nakhawale and Chenjerai Chiripanyanga who are artists in residence over the summer, has curated the fascinating collection. The trio travelled extensively around Zimbabwe to seek out really unusual pieces in different styles to highlight the rich artistic culture. There are fantastic opportunities for groups and school visits to get involved.
The exhibition will run during the regular visitor opening hours and entry is included with Park & Gardens admission. Tickets are available online or can be bought at the gate on the day, costing £9.50 per person over the age of 3, a group of four can purchase a Family Ticket for £34.00. Entry is free for Season Ticket holders and children under 3. House tickets can be purchased at a supplement of £3.50 for adults, £3.00 for senior citizens / children.
There have been gardens at Knebworth House since at least the 17th Century, but the present layout was largely designed by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, who married into the Lytton family. The gardens remain one of the finest examples his designs. Each subsequent generation of the family has enhanced the gardens and the recent wood carvings are particularly interesting.
Part of the RHS Partner Gardens scheme, the 28-acres of Formal Gardens at Knebworth House are delightful throughout the season and include an Edwardian maze, colourful borders, fine trees and a walled vegetable garden planted with unusual vegetables. Younger visitors will particularly enjoy the Wilderness area with its Willow Huts, wind-up sound boxes and the famous Knebworth Dinosaur Trail, with over 70 life-sized pre historic creatures.
For more information visit the Knebworth House website at www.knebworthhouse.com, or phone the estate office on 01438 812661.