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Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden Awards

sculpture hanging from a tree
  • Written byMelinda Winter
  • Published date 20 April 2022
sculpture hanging from a tree
‘Perspective’ (Dimitris Agapiou, 2021)

The Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden Awards started in 2021 and is an extraordinary opportunity for Camberwell Sculpture students, here are last years winners sharing their story of the rewarding process.

Dimitris Agapiou

I was the overall winner of the 2021 Hannah Peschar sculpture award where I was given the opportunity to exhibit a new series of work for the 2022 summer exhibition as well as guidance from both curators Vikki Leedham and Rob Cowan.

sculpture hanging from a tree
‘Resilience’ (Dimitris Agapiou, 2022)

Back in March when I heard about the Hannah Peschar Sculpture award I was immediately intrigued by the opportunity and after attending the briefing I decided that I wanted to take part. As a third-year student there was a lot of pressure towards the final months of the degree due to assessments and the degree show work. The Hannah Peschar sculpture award was the first experience I had in the ‘real world ’outside the boundaries of the University, with no guidance and just a brief. The whole application process was so beneficial for me. From following a brief, to preparing and presenting proposals to the curators of the Sculpture Garden. As an artist primarily working with Sculpture, I never had the opportunity to present work outdoors before the award. That was an additional challenge that all of us had to take on. I started researching for a material I can use that is both sustainable (which was the main theme of the brief) and suitable to be outside for a long period of time. After spending some time researching and testing materials, I finally came across Perspex Acrylic. A material that from first glance you don’t necessarily recognise that is sustainable. Often sustainability is just thought of as recycling, or finding natural products, however Perspex Acrylic can be melted, reformed, reused and is also a material that is inert and can last for a long period of time in extreme conditions. While I was installing my sculpture in the garden, I was amazed by all the reflections of the trees and the plants adding an extra texture to the Sculpture. The Award has pushed me in stepping outside of my comfort zone as an artist and in discovering new materials and processes as well as taking into consideration cost, transportation and the instalment of work.

Sculpture in a garden
‘A Memory’ (Dimitris Agapiou, 2022)

The first time I visited the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden I was in awe. I was amazed by not only the breath-taking scenery of the gardens but also the harmony that each sculpture has with Nature. A key element of my work is the viewers interaction and how each one of them will perceive the work, so that was the main theme for my winning piece ‘Perspective’. The idea was to frame and celebrate nature in a simple way and at the same time challenge the viewers perception by creating an optical illusion when looking through the sculpture. For the 2022 summer exhibition I have installed three new Sculptures using the same materials (Perpsex Acrylic), since I believe is a material that I still must explore and experiment with as I find very interesting. Overall, I believe that the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Award was a unique experience in every aspect that challenged me as an artist in the best way possible

Sculpture in a garden
‘Magnanimity/ Μegalopsychia’ (Dimitris Agapiou, 2022)

Mel Woo

I was the runner up for the Peoples Choice Award and was granted six months mentoring and the opportunity to exhibit in the stunning gardens from April-October 2022.

sculpture hanging from a tree
BB8 (Mel Woo, 2022)

The Hannah Peschar Gardens are like visiting another world, the plants are outrageously over sized and thoroughly enjoying the unique microclimate. The isolated hidden wooden hut instantly took me to Walden Pond where Henry David Thoreau wrote reflecting on simple pleasures in ‘Walden’. Within the natural walls of ‘The Day of the Triffid’ size Cows Parsley, you are reminded of another literature classic, Alice in Wonderland. So it was no surprise my inspiration came from feeling like a child again, small in size and looking up in confusion. My 2022 installation called ‘Caravan of Courage’ originated from fuzzy memories of visiting the cinema in the 1980s and admiring the cuddly yet deadly Ewoks from the blockbusting sci-fi film trilogy; Star Wars.

sculpture hanging from a tree
Detailed image of Plaster of Paris rings (Mel Woo, 2022)

This year I am incredibly lucky to be able to exhibit new work under an elderly gnarly purple flowering Rhododendron tree. The work is a mixture of mouldered Plaster of Paris rings and coiled roped pods that I hope visitors will engage with. The shapes of the forms and the materials within the framework of the bendy branches communicate a conversation. It is an incredible place to explore so I hope readers are able to take a trip to nearby Dorking and investigate it fully this Spring-Summer and good luck to Camberwell Students competing in the 2022 Awards

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