Ethereal artwork comes to world-famous Sussex gardens

Sculptural artist Denis Tricot begins the installation against Nymans' ruins, � Keith Mason

Sculptural artist Denis Tricot begins the installation against Nymans' ruins, � Keith Mason

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Visitors to National Trust gardens Nymans last weekend were amazed to see a huge undulating sculpture working its way through the windows of the house ruins and across the lawns.

The wooden artwork, made up of hundreds of slender planks of poplar wood, appears to be suspended in the air from a distance, and it’s only upon closer inspection that one can see the cords holding the elegant curves and waves of the wood in place as they snake across the house’s façade.

Denis Tricot artwork begins to take shape at Nymans ruins, West Sussex, credit Keith Mason

Denis Tricot artwork begins to take shape at Nymans ruins, West Sussex, credit Keith Mason

The sculpture is the creation of acclaimed French artist Denis Tricot, who is known across the world for gently transforming landscapes and buildings with his beautiful wooden artworks.

“We are thrilled with the way Denis has used the space at Nymans to give his interpretation of the dramatic history of this house,” said marketing officer Lisa Davies. “Visitors’ reactions have been wonderful; it’s a truly awesome sight and they love the way the artwork seems to follow you around the gardens. It’s everywhere, even stretching up into trees! It’s particularly popular with children, who have been trying to find the beginning and end of the sculpture as it flows around the property.”

Nymans is a house with a strong artistic heritage through its links to the Messel family, including famous stage designer Oliver Messel and society photographer Lord Snowdon. Sadly, the house was destroyed by fire on 19 February 1947, but to mark the anniversary of the fire, Tricot’s beautiful sculpture will be dramatically set ablaze in darkness on 19 February, accompanied by the haunting and beautiful Hungarian gypsy music of cellist and singer Vania Dombrovszky, in a live concert.

Tricot’s installation, created in partnership with ArtsAgenda, is one of the first pilot projects being undertaken by the National Trust in the South-East. Supported by Art Council England’s Outdoor Arts initiative, the project aims to promote external spaces to showcase contemporary art.

Fire and Sculpture installation: on show until 19 February.

‘Duo du Feu’ fire and music event: 19 February, 6.30pm, normal admission charge only, booking essential on 01444 405250. For further information visit http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/nymans/visitor-information.

Report and picture contributed by the National Trust.