Video: RHS Garden Harlow Carr – Invasive Species’ an exhibition by the Yorkshire Sculptors Group


Invasive Species’ is an exhibition by the Yorkshire Sculptors Group that offers visitors the chance to see work made for the garden dealing with ideas around nature, humanity and control.

Katherine Musgrove, Garden Manager at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, said:

We have been working with the Yorkshire Sculpture Group who approached us and we then had an on-site meeting in January.

We discussed about where to best site the sculptures as they have a very diverse group of artists.

With the  nature of what they wanted to do, they fitted well within the woodland area.

It has already generated a lot of interest during installation week, all the artists were really happy to talk to the visitors.

But it has created a talking point and an extra dimension for a visit.

The garden is on the edge of turning Autumnal and has some fantastic colours – it’s a great time to visit the gardens.

The exhibition runs from 1 September 2020 t to 3 January 2021 and has twenty-five pieces by fifteen members of the Yorkshire Sculptors Group.



Katherine Musgrove, Garden Manager at RHS Garden Harlow Carr
Katherine Musgrove, Garden Manager at RHS Garden Harlow Carr

The outdoor exhibition forms a sculpture trail made up of the following works:

  • ‘Bridge Across Troubled Waters’ by George Hainsworth: A wooden ‘bridge’ made from elm spanning the Streamside.
  • ‘Squeezed Out’ by Sally Barker: A suspended cluster of small, glazed ceramic pieces, hanging in a tree, like a bunch of surreal, glistening, visceral fruit.
  • ‘Pernicious’ by Sally Barker: A series of white, glazed ceramic pieces erupting from the ground and dripping from branches above, resembling living plants, yet each eerily bone white and ghostly.
  • ‘Global Growth, Material World’ by Victoria Ferrand Scott: Strangely coloured, camouflaged spherical forms cluster like virus cells and spread between trees.
  • ‘Paper Trail’ by Linda Thompson: White paper markers lead visitors on a journey of discovery.
  • ‘Neither fish nor fowl’ by Garry Barker: A series of ceramic creatures representing the need to accommodate difference and celebrate the contributions of what we sometimes call invasive species.
  • ‘Plastic Propagation’ by Victoria Ferrand Scott: Found plastic components, waste associated with water and gardening, hang like strange seed pods from red metal pyramids or swing like pendulums marking time.
  • ‘Bulbed Blend’ by Melanie Wilks: A three-dimensional sandstone carving inspired by closed oriental lily flowers.
  • ‘Weft and Warp’ by Melanie Wilks: Copper invades and seemingly weaves itself in and out of a sandstone host in this sculpture exploring the question of parasitic behaviour versus beneficial coexistence.
  • ‘Omphalos’ by Melanie Wilks: Carved in a rich red sandstone, this sculpture is about growth and separation; the form references the coil of an umbilical cord.
  • ‘In the Between’ by Joanne Hall: A series of aluminium pieces presenting a distorted reflection of their surroundings, responding to the tendency of humanity as a species to adapt, twist and distort nature.
  • ‘Artefact and Marble Slab’ by George Hainsworth: An oak and ash artefact with an incised slab of marble designed to be experienced visually and by being sat upon.
  • ‘Media Intrusion’ by Vincent James: Video cassettes, appropriated from the cartoon Adventure Time, leave their animated world behind to invade the cultivated grounds of RHS Harlow Carr.
  • ‘The United Sticks of America’ by Terence Hammill: As the punning title suggests, a map of the USA is invaded or impaled by 50 bright red sticks. A hybrid flower, a flag or a virus.
  • ‘Willow Knot’ by Lucy Hainsworth: Created in willow wood to imply the natural knotting that takes place in the tree itself as it grows. A knot also reflects both bonding and struggle.
  • ‘Plait’ by Lucy Hainsworth: A carved plait created from a plum tree and colour coded. Created after trying to unravel an eight strand plait at the Ropewalk in Barton-in-Humber.
  • ‘Oakleaf’ by Linda Thompson: Created after a visit to New Zealand where a large leaf crashed to the ground in the bush. So different to the gentle fall of fluttering leaves in the English autumn.
  • ‘Breakthrough’ by Victoria Ferrand Scott: Natural looking spears made from concrete break through the ground as though trying to grow towards the light.
  • ‘Coal Spire’ by Nicholas Vaughan: A memorial to the miners’ strike of the eighties referencing a legendary column of coal. Created from clinker, coal, resin and steel.
  • ‘Feminist Escape Route: Attempt No 3’ by Paula Chambers: A long ladder hanging from a tree created using a plastic washing line and wooden children’s rolling pins, and the ancient technique of yarn knotting.
  • ‘A still – Volcano – Life’ by Liadin Cooke: A still-Volcano-Life is a sign engraved with text describing the formation and eruption of the volcano Paricutin, Mexico in 1943.
  • ‘12 x 2 = 24’ by Lewis Robinson: A twelve piece installation reflecting on the sense of isolation and confinement during lockdown.
  • ‘Chain Gang’ by Linda Thompson: A chain of invasive flowers celebrating the welcome emergence of all the flora and fauna during the stressful days of lockdown.
  • ‘We Only Print in Blood Red’ by Sally Barker: A series of glazed ceramic pieces consisting of overlapping layers of hundreds of individual clay fingerprints. Referencing our disturbing, chaotic, and consuming relationship to the natural environment and trees in particular.
  • ‘Reciprocal Encounter’ by Carole Griffiths: Domestic tools formed from plastic hang in balance, forked and split, disrupting the landscape to signify potential harm.

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