This being our peak season, we have been exceptionally busy over the summer. The highlight was, of course, our art exhibition ‘Are you Afraid of Beauty?’ The Surrey-based Pavillion Artists ventured north to pack the walls of our Music Room with their exceptional work. Each of the four members of the group has their own unique style, and use different mediums to skillfully create appealing work that aims to please rather than challenge its viewers.
Peter Searight has exhibited at Dutton before. An award winning photographer, Peter once again showed his atmospheric English and Australian landscapes to an appreciative Lancastrian audience. He has also taken a number of photographs of the Dutton Hall gardens which have been turned into attractive greetings cards and are available to buy at all of our open days.
Also making the trip north with Peter was Jan Hite, a ceramicist whose quirky and colourful sculptures were not the only thing to excite our visitors over the last weekend in June. Equally popular were her expertly crafted clay owls, and a shimmering bowl of ceramic fruit that was snaffled up by one eager purchaser before the exhibition had officially opened!
Unfortunately neither of the other artists could travel with their work but that didn’t prevent it from proving hugely popular. Claire Harrison’s depictions of nature suited the setting of Dutton Hall, with its garden in full flower, perfectly. While prize-winning artist, Anne Bowen’s refined compositions were remarked upon for their superb quality.
We were delighted that so many people were able to attend the exhibition, and explore the gardens here over the weekend. It meant that we raised significant sums for a series of charities, including the Red Cross. We are also extremely grateful to the small number of volunteers from Bushell House in Goosnargh and St Johns Church in Hurst Green who baked cakes and served teas to all of our visitors.
Our famous Old Fashioned Roses are always at their absolute best in the last week in June, and this year was no exception. While the Front Garden is teeming with flower throughout the summer months, you can only truly appreciate the much newer Rose Garden- created within the last decade- in those precious days of late June and early July. The garden is heavy with pinks, yellows and whites; the landscape is an inescapable wall of colour. For those of us who witness the garden in all seasons this is a very special time and we would not dream of missing it. If you love old fashioned roses too, please don’t allow yourself to miss out- get in touch about booking a group guided tour next year.