New Sculpture Garden to open at Gallery

Ewan Mathers, www.ewanmathersphotographer.comWhen a new sculpture garden opens in Castle Donington this month it will be a dream realised for artist and gallery director Luke Tarpey.

The landscaped space featuring the work of 11 sculptors is a personal testament to the passion and vision of the 35-year-old.

He is determined to put contemporary art in the Midlands firmly on the map and has spent the last five years patiently working towards his goal.

When he and his father Jim first opened the light airy gallery in a converted barn set behind their home, a thatched Tudor cottage in the centre of the village, it was hailed as a cause for celebration in the art world.

“There was nothing else like it in the region and we made it our aim to use the gallery to gain national recognition for both emerging artists as well as the more established names,” explained Luke.

A key part of that plan is the Midlands Open – a firm fixture on the calendar of the region’s artists that attracts a diverse range of work.

The sixth competition will be launched alongside the sculpture garden and a new exhibition space in the gallery on July 11.

Luke, who studied Fine Art at Sheffield, had been working in the South as a graphic designer when a personal tragedy made him rethink his life.

“At that time my father said he had plans to open a gallery here and asked if I would like come up and run it for him.

“I had never run a gallery before and there was a lot to learn, but I quickly found there were lots of artists and not a lot of contemporary galleries in the area, so I always believed it had great potential.

“I have had to get to know the artists and their work so I can do the best I can when I am selling it,” he said.

To learn more about sculptors and their work he even founded, along with friend Daniel Lingham, a website called Sculptorvox which features regular interviews with artists.

“I have strived to get an insight in to what it is to be a sculptor and gain a real deep understanding of what they do. I knew it would help me exhibit the work here.

“I can’t deny it has been tough during the last few years but I always had a vision of what I wanted to do and I have enjoyed the challenge.

“Now we have finally finished extending the space and can open it alongside the sculpture garden I am excited about the future.

“I don’t think there will be any other commercial sculpture gardens in the region to match this one and I’ve had great support from the artists who are enthusiastic about exhibiting here.”

After months of building work the beautiful gallery has been extended to almost twice its size and now has windows overlooking the extensive gardens and terrace area where visitors will be able to relax and take in the view. It really is quite impressive and with Luke’s attention to detail and his knowledge it deserves to succeed.

The opening day party on July 11 is from 2pm-6pm and there will be canapés, wine, beer and music. The Midlands Open exhibition will be on until August 15.

For more details go to