Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Children take on Hampton Court Flower Show.

"Child prodigy is a curse because you've got all those terrible possibilities" 
- Itzhak Perlman

They say that it's a sad day when a father realises that his children are faster/ stronger/ smarter than they are.  I wholeheartedly disagree.  Fully cognisant as I am of my own limitations, I think it's fantastic when the next generation show signs of progressing past my own (if you ever need to understand how a mobile phone works just give it to a 10 year old).

At Marshall Murray one of our stated aims is to bring on and nurture the future of British artists and designers.  We shall be running exhibitions of fresh talent at various upcoming exhibitions, running competitions to gain entry to some of the country's most respected shows and helping artists and artisans to find studio space and a platform through our collaboration with Riverhill Gardens.  Well, here's a really fun example of what kids can do if given a voice.

Max's beautiful layout and simple design
We recently set a challenge to the design department at Trinity School (www.trinity-school.org/) to design one of our six mini-gardens at the Hampton Court Flower Show.  The students were given some examples of the sculpture that we would be showing, and the brief was to create a 2x2m space with their chosen piece and then dressed how they saw fit.

The responses were simply genius.

Some went for simple elegance, Max Finch used box hedging and water to create a tranquil space in which to recline on a contemporary wicker chaise seat by Spencer Jenkins - his slides were presented beautifully and I could readily see the design at an RHS show. 

Others went for abstraction and impact.  William Perry created perhaps my favourite individual slide, describing his garden thus:

"In my garden I have built a viewing point, installed a vending machine and put in some roses"

This line is brilliant, as is the supporting image showing the roses laying on the floor by the Coke machine, reminiscent of 1980s rock videos while making a point about consumerism in design.  Loved it.

Julian Wild's "Totem", picked by Luke
Luke Yeulett created a garden on several levels, formal and geometric.

Water and simple planting accent the grass ledges.  This would have worked really well with the industrial artwork by Julian Wild.  The school have plans to build this design in miniature, which I'm really looking forward to seeing.  Amazing facilities at that school, I was impressed with my DT's department having a bandsaw - this lot have 3D printers and access to some amazing bits of kits.

The winning entry was from Euan Baird, who detailed a simple rosemary hedge that would compliment the tones of the stone wonderfully, plus an interesting take on a viewing platform to see the marble piece (by Paul VanStone) from various heights.

Congratulations to Euan, he has won two tickets to Hampton Court, plus a signed book and entry to our sculpture garden at Riverhill House.

Special mention also goes to Josh Kenny, his planting plan and mood board were excellent examples.

If this project is anything to go by then the future of British design is in good hands.  I sincerely hope that all of the entrants enjoyed the challenge and continue to put time into designing beautiful things - watch this space!
Euan's chosen sculpture in Iranian onyx


Josh Kenny's elegant planting design.

We are also doing a similar exercise with a primary school in Frant - they have been set the challenge of replicating any of our artworks in any material they so choose.  The results will doubtless be equal part inspiring and adorable, so watch this space!


Marshall Murray

Monday, 10 June 2013

Our first season at Riverhill House

Well, our sculpture garden is now in full swing.  There are around 40 of the final 50 due in for the first season, the bluebells are in full bloom and it's all looking rather wonderful.

Riverhill House is an amazing estate, there are more details on an earlier blog about the collaboration (http://marshallmurray.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/escape-to-country.html).  Right now both the bluebells are and the rhododendrons are out in force.  Couldn't ask for a more perfect setting for some gorgeous contemporary art.

There are lots of events planned for this season, from evenings with notable sculptors to those in which you can take part in the creation of art under the guidance of some of Britain's finest sculptors.

The gardens are open much of the week, for details you can see their opening times here.

Sculpture maps and guides are available at the ticket kiosk, there is a wonderful coffee shop and cafe.  It is also a fantastic place for the family, with children's events and safe play areas throughout the grounds.

To see a short video of the gardens, as well as some of our pieces, please see the following video:

To find out more, be put on our mailing list for art events or to arrange a guided tour, please contact us on enquiries@marshallmurray.co.uk.

Thanks, and the very best from us all at Marshal Murray,



Oliver Hawkins - Director

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The calm before the storm.

"There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it" - Alfred Hitchcock

Well, it's two days before the build starts for the Chelsea Flower Show 2013 and I feel old.

I'm sure that this is partly to do with the fact that it is 07:00 and I've been at the desk for a couple of hours already, enough to add decades to any man.  Largely though it is the result of an inability to believe that it has been a whole year since I was facing the exciting terror of entering my first ever CFS build.  Time's covert progression never ceases to amaze me, if it were not for the growing community of grey hairs peppering my temples I would assume that someone had been playing with my desktop calendar.

Still, plans are in better shape than they were this time last year.  12 months ago, having only had 2 weeks to prepare, I still faced a mountain of unfinished planning.  Though, on the plus side I was blissfully doe eyed and innocent of all the things that could go wrong.  Still, despite the "Challenge Annika" vibe both our sales and the contacts I made were better than I had hoped so, by the desperate logic of the fearful, this year should be commensurately more successful?  A large part of me is extremely grateful for how fast the past 12 months have passed - Chelsea is the highlight of my year and this year is going to be a great one.

We'll be sure to keep you posted!!


Oliver - Director, Marshall Murray