Brockdish sculpture meadow prepares for public opening

You may notice something a bit peculiar about this tranquil nature meadow nestled in the Waveney Valley.

Cosied between the rustling grasses and mini copses, enjoying the pleasant views with the butterflies and grasshoppers, are striking pieces of artwork.

As you meander around you spy metallic fish emerge by your feet, in a tree branch sits a piece of stained glass and large ironwork sculptures preside over the picturesque hillside.

The pretty spot in Brockdish, near Diss, with vistas over the lush flood plain is transformed every summer by owners Christopher Parr and Rebecca Lyne into an outdoor sculpture gallery sporting an eclectic range of pieces from both locally and nationally-renowned artists.

The husband and wife team bought the formerly barren two-acre site at the bottom of their garden five years ago and are about to embark on their third August of opening up the unique space to the public.

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'The main aim of the meadow is to have an open accessible space for people to see contemporary sculpture - especially those may not feel like going to a gallery,' said Rebecca.

Christopher added: 'As sculptors, it's always hard showing in a gallery because your piece stands in front of those by others and in the natural environment is where sculpture should be.'

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The couple have worked together as professional artists for five years specialising in casting glass, figurative work and fishes, and are a part of the Harleston and Waveney Art Trail.

Their own pieces are among about 30 dotted around the meadow, which also include artwork by sculptors such as John McGill and Derek Nice.

Between exhibitions they painstakingly rid the field of the majority of its thistles and ragwort to allow for the return of the area's native wildlife which over the years has resulted in the re-emergence of wild flowers, butterflies and nesting birds.

On the reaction of visitors, Christopher said: 'It's quite surprising to people. It's their village and they haven't realised this is here. You go up the hill and suddenly find this behind it.'

'When we first thought about buying the field, we walked up to the top of the hill and thought it was criminal that only us were able to enjoy the view. We said we've got to open it up and allow other people to enjoy this space,' added Rebecca.

The sculpture meadow, which sits just off The Street opposite The Old King's Head pub, is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in August, between 10.30am and 5.30pm. Admission is free.

On August 7, it will also host a family art day which allows all ages to come together to create sculpture under the guidance of professional artists. The event, which is subsidised by the Arts Guild, Suffolk Foundation and The Dome Company, costs �15 per family, up to five members.

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