Paris Attacks and ‘Capability’ Brown Sculpture Campaign

We are up to £3025 as of today on the crowdfunding platform – not bad, but really hoping for the campaign to gather more momentum at

I found myself flagging in energy as my hometown was attacked last Saturday evening…

Creating a lifesize statue of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown seems a very worthwhile endeavour – but of course when horrific events happen, it is natural that people everywhere (including myself) feel the shock and the philosophical/social issues raised by them prime over all other considerations – at least until one decides that joie de vivre must again surface as the very best remedy against grief.

So as an artist I say:


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Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown Sculpture Campaign Takes Off

Laury_digital_of_Brown (1)I am so chuffed that the Duchess asked me to be involved in her work to implement lost plans by ‘Capability’ Brown for Belvoir Castle… which led to me creating a Belvoir obelisk indicated by Brown for the Belvoir landscape… which led me to find out there is no statue of Brown in England (I was so informed by leading Brown expert historian John Phibbs)… which has now led me to spearhead a campaign to raise funds for a lifesize bronze sculpture of Brown to be gifted to the nation.


Our idea was that the people of the nation should gift it – just as public artwork was almost always funded by public subscription in the 18th century. The campaign was started 3 nights ago and has already raised £2,900 of its £50,00 target!

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Capability Brown & Belvoir Book Launch

Tonight… exciting book launch of Her Grace’s new book:



Capability Brown & Belvoir – Discovering a Lost Landscape

The new book by The Duchess of Rutland with Jane Pruden
*Our books are signed by Emma Duchess of Rutland

Photographs by Nick Hugh McCann

Forward by Alan Titchmarsh

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Preparing for a Lancelot “Capability” Brown Memorial Statue Campaign…

Life on the Belvoir Estate as artist-in-residence continues to be full of creativity with the recently aired “Alan Titchmarsh on Capability Brown” a great success (in which I played a very small but fun part, creating a Peacock Obelisk for the Duchess).

Meanwhile, my husband Joe Caneen AKA the Video Whisperer has been working on a crowdfunding video for my latest project, a Lancelot “Capability” Brown Memorial Statue Campaign. It will soon be ready to upload and launch – how exciting!

In tandem I have been conducting historical research into Brown’s likeness (looking at the two paintings of him by Nathaniel Dance and Cosway), studying 18th century clothing for men in the countryside, exchanging e-mails with the Brown Advisor (historian John Phibbs), roughing out a small maquettes of Brown (just to work out stance and gesture), seeking backing in various forms (the Duchess of Rutland has said she is on board), working out perks and pitch.

I have also played around with his likeness to see what monochrome (which the statue will be) would look like…

What a monochrome Brown statue might vaguely look like...?

What a monochrome Brown statue might vaguely look like…?

Will crowdfund to gift the lost-wax whole figure, heroic size statue to the nation via… the National Trust or Historic Houses Association? And hope to have one or several copies in bronze resin touring the great estates where Brown wove his magic as the greatest landscape architect of Britain’s 18th century.

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3Rs Sculpture Symposium

It is happening here on the Belvoir Castle Estate – the magic has begun. We installed the Belvoir Woodhenge (yep, title changed from Log Henge to Wood Henge) a couple of weeks ago…. (an installation of 40 beams by Belvoir High School students and 6 Primary Schools in the Vale of Belvoir, Leicestershire – a collaborative work with artist-in-residence Laury Dizengremel)


Belvoir Woodhenge

And we are hosting the 3Rs Sculpture Symposium starting tomorrow – see ….

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On more viability for the arts professional

Tonight I came across the following paragraphs in a 2008 post by an Australian artist called Lauren (aka “She Sees Red”):

“The sad thing is that visual art (and other forms of art, methinks) isn’t built on a sustainable business model. Well, not here anyway. There is no easily quantifiable outcome, product, turnover, cash flow data or even staffing procedure. Each artist runs his/her business as best they can, based on the practice. Not the practice based on a common business model, and the whole industry flows on from there. Money doesn’t come first – it’s product or idea and then fitting finances to it. And, unlike graphic design and architecture- the most financially self-supporting of the creative industries – the hourly rate just doesn’t feature. If you try to fit a standard billing idea to arts practice, most artists are working pro-bono 100% of their time. Can you imagine if lawyers did that?

Having said all that, I like that art is outside of regular, commercialised modes of engagement. It provides a detached viewpoint for analysis and also contributes an ‘exit’ within society – a shining light away from supermarket shelves and a long list of unanswered emails.”

I second Lauren’s viewpoint. Most days I very much like that sculpture is outside the regular commercialised mode of engagement. I wouldn’t trade my art practice for a “day job” most days. But sometimes… geez, sometimes it is hard to lift one’s artistic spirits out of the financial calamities that an artist’s life often entails. Except for those who know how to sell themselves well. This morning I visited a small art foundry off the beaten path right next to Melton Mowbray. It’s run by a couple of sculptors who seem to have their “s…t” together with regards balancing artistic expression and finances. Do I envy their “commercial” success? Absolutely! Two newspaper articles and one magazine article about my work/doings in the last month (across two different continents) unfortunately do not necessarily translate to commercial success or viability. What does work best for me is at all times ensuring that I wear not only an artist’s hat but also some sort of sales hat! I dare not forget the lessons learned over the past 30 years.

So here’s to increased viability for all arts professionals in 2011 – and that includes “me”!

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Here’s to an arts pro-active, arts productive, arts creative 2011…

Happy New Year 2011!

Helping to get the year off to a good start for me as artist in residence for Belvoir Castle & Estate is an article about the Trail of Belvoir and this artist residency which just appeared in the Lincolnshire Life magazine of January 2011, available online…

Of course  if you are in England, and you have a chance to see the magazine itself, then do so as it contains another photo than the one shown in the online article.

On that score, it is always interesting to see a physical article about art / artists in a newspaper or a magazine. A friend from Montana recently sent me by post a copy of the newspaper article which appeared in the Great Falls Tribune and of course is also has lots more photos of the artwork than its online counterpart. That article is here at .

See “Dramatic sculpture first link in chain of art stretching from Missoula to Glacier

On a more urgent note… anyone who studies or teaches fine art or design in the UK (from secondary school to college / university level), please contact me as soon as possible on 01476 879071 as I need to get the “call for artists” message out to as many art students as possible about the opportunity to enter the sculpture competition before its 31 January 2011 deadline. Details of the competition which will lead to selecting artists to contribute to a rural sculpture trail called Belvoir “3Rs: Reclaimed, Recycled, Raw” are to be found on this blog posting while the full guidelines for the sculpture competition and an entry form are here:

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Sculpture Competition UK

The invitation to enter the Belvoir “3Rs – Reclaimed, Recycled, Raw” sculpture competition (from which selected artists will be invited to take part in a sculpture symposium which will result in a sculpture trail in the Vale of Belvoir) has been extended to include artists within 10 years of graduation. The deadline for entries is 31 January 2011.

Originally, as Belvoir Castle & Estate artist-in-residence for the Duchess of Rutland, I wanted to focus only on art students for this event. However I soon realized that opening the competition to a wider range of would-be participants presents an even greater challenge to all.

The web page containing the brief, guidelines, indicative list of sustainable sculpture materials, a downloadable entry form, images of possible sites for sculptures to be located on the sculpture trail is available here.

To help promote this art opportunity to students and fellow artists, copy and paste the following link into any e-mail:

Besides blogging here, I’ve also posted blogs or ads on the AN website, the Axis website, and various other places to ensure emerging artists also learn about this art opportunity. Requests for further info about the sculpture competition are starting to come in (from an MA student at the Slade in London, from others).


This is the studio courtyard garden where invited artists will gather (no snow on the ground at Easter we hope!) to daily discuss the progress they make on creating their sustainable sculptures!



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National Outdoor Sculpture Competition Launched

Call for UK artists to apply… This is a great opportunity for art/ design students! Full details for a sculpture competition which I’ve just launched can be here.

Last Friday I designed a mini-poster for the “Belvoir 3Rs” Reclaimed, Recycled, Raw Sculpture Trail Competition, and helped by a very competent assistant, called most Universities in the UK asking them if they would be willing to receive the poster by e-mail and put it up on their notice boards. We continued calling and started e-mailing on Monday, and immediately received acknowledgements, for example from the Royal College of Art in London, the University of the Creative Arts in Canterbury, Plymouth University and others. Meanwhile during the week-end I created the guidelines for the competition, several web pages, a downloadable entry form, a Paypal button for competitors to pay a small fee when entering, etc. The deadline for this sculpture competition is the 31st of January 2011.

reclaimed, recycled, raw

The “Belvoir 3Rs” Reclaimed, Recycled, Raw Sculpture Trail will be created in the context of an “educational and working sculpture symposium” that will take place in the Vale of Belvoir (on the Belvoir Castle Estate) during the academic Easter break of 2011, between the 16th and 30th of April 2011.

This artist opportunity is open to every art student / design student / 3D media student in the UK.

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Belvoir 3Rs: Reclaimed, Recycled, Raw Sculpture Trail

As artist-in-residence for Belvoir Castle & Estate I am now majorly in the throes of planning a rural sculpture trail in the Vale of Belvoir on the Lincolnshire / Leicestershire border… (yep, and that’s in addition to creating a bust of a Ducal family member… see earlier post on this blog!)

The Belvoir 3Rs – Reclaimed, Recycled, Raw Sculpture Trail will be created in the context of an “educational and working sculpture symposium” that will take place during the academic Easter break of 2011, between the 12th and 28th of April.

Winding its way along the Grantham Canal, over a small bridge, through fields and back to the edge of the water near an ancient pub known both as the Rutland Arms and the Dirty Duck on the edge of the tiny village of Woolsthorpe-by-Belvoir, this sculpture trail will be wheelchair accessible in part,  in a loop approximately 2 miles long, with many wonderful perspectives onto Belvoir Castle along the way. Visitors will be able to walk the whole trail or just part of it.

A challenge will be issued soon in the hope of attracting submissions from art students all over the UK.

When the competition is ended and participants have been selected by a panel of judges, I will mentor art students creating their first public artworks, assisting them in creating large-scale outdoor sculptures made from sustainable sculpture materials sourced locally and donated by members of the Vale of Belvoir community.

The Duchess of Rutland is the first major donor to the project, handing over 1800 light bulbs removed last year to be replaced by low-energy ones.

From my Old Hunt Stables studio on the Estate, I have begun to reach out to a variety of contacts in the UK to elicit submissions from:

– A level art students
– Foundation art students
– BA and BFA art students
– MA and MFA art students
– Practice-based PhD art students

I am also opening the Belvoir 3Rs Sculpture Trail challenge to GCSE art students of Belvoir High School in Bottesford, and to the 12 Primary Schools in the Vale of Belvoir.

At least 40 members of the local community will be asked to volunteer, and there will be plenty of other volunteerism opportunities on this project, so do get in touch if you would like to be involved!

Similarly, if you have junk to donate, old objects/machinery/stuff that can be reclaimed or any raw material donations – don’t hold back, do e-mail….

Think along the lines of: Reclaimed, Recycled, Raw!

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