New season for sculpture gardens as more than 60 works go on show

Stunning new sculptures will be unveiled this weekend as Cheesburn opens up to visitors.

Thursday, 16th May 2019, 12:46 pm
Glass shipbuilding by Dr Ayako Tani. Picture by Jo Howell Photography.

The Sculpture Gardens at Cheesburn Grange in Stamfordham re-open on Saturday, showcasing more than 60 pieces of art.

Among them is an installation by award-winning glass artist and researcher Dr Ayako Tani featuring 150 glass ships in bottles.

Nostalgie De La Boue: Plastic Friend by Clare Townley. Picture by Colin Davison, Rosella Studios.

It is located in Cheesburn’s 19th century chapel, and is a tribute to the glass shipbuilding of Sunderland. At its peak more than 12,000 were created each month for export around the world.

Another highlight is Nostalgie De La Boue: Plastic Friend by Newcastle University graduate Clare Townley, who won last year’s Gillian Dickinson North East Young Sculpture Award and a £6,500 commission.

Clare has transformed trees at Cheesburn with long, sinewy, sprawling sculptures made from recycled plastic, contrasting the garlands of the natural world with the impact of plastics on the environment. It also includes a swing-seat.

Clare said: “I can’t wait to see how people choose to interact with it, whether it’s a spectacle or a piece to engage with.”

Cheeseburn. Picture by Colin Davison, Rosella Studios.

Ten other young artists are hoping to follow in Clare’s footsteps to be named the next Gillian Dickinson North East Young Sculptor of the Year, and their proposals will be exhibited in the Stables Gallery at Cheeseburn.

The winner will receive mentoring and £6,500 to produce their idea at Cheeseburn next spring.

Other displays include Erin Dickson’s glass chandelier and wooden homeware from Handmade Tyneside.

Cheeseburn owner Joanna Riddell said: “Our audience for Cheeseburn Sculpture keeps steadily growing and we look forward to welcoming visitors back to enjoy another year of outstanding talent.”

Cheeseburn is open for six weekends, from 11am to 4pm, on May 18-19, May 25-27, June 29-30, July 6-7, August 24-26 and August 31-September 1.

There will be dance performances from Simona Yovcheva, Maria Vincentelli and Lizzie J Klotz, as well as sound installations from Bennett Hogg in June and July.

Entry is a recommended donation of £5. For more see