Anton Smit's works have been installed at Leonardslee Gardens. Courtesy of the artist and Leonardslee Gardens, photo by Justin Lewis

13 pictures showing the new sculpture park at Leonardslee Gardens

A new sculpture park has launched at Leonardslee Gardens – featuring the work of a celebrated South African artist.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 4:10 pm

Entrepreneur and Leonardslee owner Penny Streeter OBE has set up the presentation, entitled The Walk of Life, comprising of more than 80 figurative works from Anton Smit, including his signature colossal heads, female forms and warriors. These are arranged around the estate’s 240-acre, Grade 1-listed grounds and gardens, allowing visitors an opportunity to explore Smit’s extraordinary practice en plein air.

Penny said: “We’re trying to make sure we’re all things to all people. It’s the most beautiful of all English settings. We’re hoping that schools will come and we will inspire the next generation of sculptures.”

She began penniless but her career bloomed when she started a medical staffing agency to connect nurses, health care workers and doctors with places in need of locum workers.

And now Penny has bought Mannings Heath Golf Club and Leonardslee – her son Adam transforming the latter after years of closure.

She said: “I do have to pinch myself. I don’t quite know how I have been at the right place at the right time.”

Penny praised Adam’s hard work in restoring the gardens to their former glory.

She said: “He hasn’t come from a horticultural background. He’s got there really quickly. He’s got a love of these gardens.

“The creation of the sculpture park is a further commitment by our family to this very special place, and we are looking forward to welcoming presentations by other artists in the coming years.”

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