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a photo of Jim or some other fine work

About the Altered States Open Air Sculpture Exhibition - a word from the curator, Jim Crockatt

"This wonderful exhibition started way back in 2018 because I thought it a fine thing to do.
As a sculptor myself, I understood that many artists need to have the public see their works and there are many more gifted artists out there than there are venues to show their work.
I approached the majestic manor that is Shaw House, set in magnificent lawned grounds, and enquired as to whether such a show could be realised and their response was absolutely yes. The shared enthusiasm of both parties have propelled this adventure forward and ever upwards.
The Altered States Open Air Sculpture Exhibition opens every Summer for 2 months and welcomes all people possible by having free entrance and a walk round this most magnificent of houses - refreshments are also available at the cafe on-site.
Each year, I aim to display up to 70 sculptures crafted by about 25 sculptors, all to be viewed in these most luxuriant of rural landscapes. The location in Newbury is easily accessible by feet, bicycles, cars (with ample parking) and by railway. Newbury is an hour's travel from Paddington, London.
It is open 7 days a week from 11am-4pm and very often there are other activities - some theatrical, some musical - happening within the grounds. Photographs are encouraged, as are children, and dogs on a lead.
Our exhibition had a particularly positive effect after the claustophopia of covid and was one of the few venues open for business.
I travel extensively round England, hunting and gathering pieces for the show and seeking out sculptors who are suitable for display. I am most discriminate about my requirements which is that pieces are to be over 600mm high, robust for outside location, exhibiting a high level of craft, a vision of imagination and above all else a visual delight.
I probably turn away more potential works than I accept, but if I like the work, then it gets in the show. We have had a number of members of the Royal Society of Sculptors in the show, as well as many other spectacularly well-qualified artists. I am always delighted when artists approach me with a desire to submit their work, and would encourage you to get in touch with me if you consider your work worthy of inclusion. There is a submissions link in the menu at the top of this page.
Evidently 5500 people share my aesthetic as that was the footfall last year in 2022. We have had 80 sculptors exhibited thus far…
I hope you will be able to join me in my passion for this most magnificent of shows."

Poets reflect on the exhibition

Ken Rich
“I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd
Of mirror-polished steel Windmills,
Beside the path betwixt the trees,
Slowly spinning in the breeze.

Continuing I felt inclined
To study shapes of sculpted clay:
A red Fox, free formed figuline.
Amazing talent on display!
Upon those fifty-eight I glanced.
They drew me in, transfixed, entranced…

I danced between them all that day,
Enthralled, inspired…they ‘spoke’ to me,
Urging me to slip away
And write some jocund poetry.
To start, I plagiarised some verse
From William Wordsworth. It gets worse:

From Altered States to altered minds,
With LSD inspired woodwork.
Articulated Shark you’ll find
Amidst the branches where it lurks.
Recumbent Bath-Stone naked lady,
To ‘Landing Owl’ by Diccon Dadey.

Eventually my eyes did meet,
Mirage-like in a Desert’s heat,
Some slender ladies, standing tall
On long, lean legs, their feet so small.
Spied Augurs bored from ‘middle earth’.
A phallic pole’s impressive girth.
A large beast’s head…one, or two?
That reminds me: Buy Gorilla Glue.
A lacelike, rusted Belvedere.
Wooden Orbs and Resin Spheres…

I gazed…and gazed… but little thought
What wealth this show to me had brought.

Until, upon my bed I lie,
Alone, in meditative mood,
I picture them in my mind’s eye
And feel a sense of gratitude
For Altered States…my head it fills,
And spins like polished steel Windmills.

Inspired by Altered States open air Sculpture Exhibition 2021.
Please note:
I, Ken Rich, being of sound mind and stone-cold sober, hereby declare that no mind-altering substances were used in the composition of these words.
Furthermore, ‘figuline’ is not a spelling mistake, so look it up!
All other smelling pistakes, poor punctuation and dubious rhyming structure are purely intentional and carefully designed to enhance your reading experience.

Steve Wallis
A poem encompassing the sculptures at Altered States 2021

"There Is Another World, But It Is In This One" [W.B.Yeats]

Another world awaits you here
appearing briefly once a year
a feast for the receptive eye
arrayed under an open sky

Some totems, one scrotum, a nest
a mandorla made manifest
a rolling C of sea foam crest
a sentinel that cannot rest

Scimitars of stainless grass
a hare evincing 'colourfast'
a parliament in frozen flight
the impact of a meteorite

A rusting rural quartered space
a flower form's unwatered grace
an upright man with upturned face
a woman with a wide embrace

A topographic feathered shroud
a leaping frog, a tethered cloud
a 3D primate charcoal sketch
a vivid stoneware vixen's stretch

Debts to Archimedes' theory
a tribute to Doctor Timothy Leary
the court of an aquatic queen
and a throwback to the Pleiocene

All this and more in Shaw awaits
engage your mates in art debates
with a quote from William Butler Yeats

Steve Wallis

Altered States 2022

There's a refuge from your mundane cares
among the trees on the Shaw House lawns
where diverse sculptors show their wares
in oak & steel & stone & bronze

An aurochs, some butt-ocks, assorted feet
a ring of wooden totems meet
a flight of bird-brained fancy bright
the dream of a midsummer's night

Three figures waking, rising higher
elsewhere, two talking heads conspire
here's all the flowers of the mountain
(or so it says, and hey, who's countin'?)

Narcissus, or his rapt reflection
Jacob stabled in a hedge
Loki, or a sly deception
the Skellig boatman on the edge

Birds of prey, a lazy hare
fidelity, fertility
a deity, a cubist pair
ferocity in tranquility

A tiny wren, a wing-ed seed
two felines of a certain breed
and a parliament of owls in stasis
adorn this shaded art oasis
Come one, come all, to Altered States
among the pieces, peace awaits