Cheeseburn Sculpture Park ~ part 3

On to the main event following on from part 2 HERE

the reason Sophie & I went to the park in the first place was to see big shiny things, by a gentleman called Qi Yafeng.  I can’t find a website for him, maybe not allowed one in China. Anyway he’s done quite a lot of stuff, and these were his latest pieces.

The big, shiny pieces did not disappoint, they were mesmerising, you couldn’t help seeing yourself stretched thin or shortened fat, curved, wobbly, and sometimes not even there! Just like being in the house of mirrors at a funfair but with just one piece of kit. 2 large pieces in the grounds, and several in the indoor spaces.  There was also a video showing the process of making them, with some lady playing really cool twangly music in the Hong Kong studio where it was all happening. It was hard to think of them as stainless steel; the mirror finish was so perfect. What was also cool was Mr. Yafeng was in attendance, he stayed back near the trees on the edge of the lawn and took photos of people interacting with the sculpture and took photos of us taking photos!  I wish I’d said hello, but wasn’t sure if a) he spoke English, as I don’t speak Chinese, and b) what would I say? “Hi, I really like your big shiny things?”

All the works were entitled Big Shi… oops 🙂 they were entitled In Each Phase, with a number after them as in In Each Phase 1, In Each Phase 2 etc.

Big Shiny Thing 1


Big Shiny Thing 1


Big Shiney Thing 2 was my favourite as it looked different from different perspectives, and the reflections were weird.




that guy really has a knotted hanky on his head.


So very impressive and gorgeous especially in the sunshine.  But my very favourite of all is one that wasn’t on the map of where to find the sculptures, nor on the list of what all the sculptures were.  Whilst walking around the grounds on the trail of all the sculptures, we veered off down towards the river to see if there was any stuff to photograph, just at the same time the chap in charge came along to lock the gate that you would go through to get to it,  “Ah” said he, “I see you’ve found the secret one”.  And off he went again, and when we looked over the fence we saw

also by Qi Yafeng.  I have no idea why it wasn’t listed or on the trail, but it was cool to find it and I think it’s quite beautiful sitting there in the river.

There were also some smaller versions of his pieces in different parts of the stables areas, so I’ll finish with a couple pictures of those.



all pictures are embiggenable when you click on them.

More gorgeous artworks from the day can be seen HERE


Cheeseburn Sculpture Park ~ June 2018~ part 2

Following on from part 1 HERE

The gardens at Cheeseburn Grange are quite lovely

and a perfect place for delicate glass sculptures

Can’t remember who did that sorry!!

Laura Johnston  thrilled us with these beautiful glassworks in the woods

click to embiggen for the full effect

I loved how the colors reflected onto the woodland path


Simon Hitchins

combined the rough texture of rocks with smooth shiny mirrors

“In The Eye of the Beholder”


“The Other Eye” (with added appreciators)


On one of the walls in the grounds we came across these,


by Louise Plant

they reminded me of what I used to call ‘Jacks’ when I was a kid, can’t remember what you did with them though 🙂


Ending & Beginning ~ Luke Dickinson


“Fallen Arch”. ( 🤣🙄) ~ Ekkehard Altenburger


“The Earth” by Andrew Burton.  Mr. Burton did some of my favourite pieces back in part 1, his vessels series, but I was not really impressed with this….


“The Earth” ~ Andrew Burton

but the more I look at it and think about it, the more I like what he’s done.

Anyhoo that’s enough for now, can’t be having y’all bored witless, still more artwork to come, when next time I get to the main event!

Stay tooned peeps!

Cheeseburn Sculpture Gardens~June 2018

Sophie and I decided to take photographs at Cheeseburn Grange, where they have open weekends a few times a year and the public can come along and wander the beautiful grounds and see the sculptures therein.  I told Clare over at The Mermaids Purse I was going and she asked me to write a report for her blog, “of course!” I blithely replied and she published it a little while ago. I’m rehashing it a bit for my own blog and posting it in the chronological order in the time-space continuum herein. 🙂

I have no idea what I’m talking about when it comes to sculpture and I told Sophie that I was going to write this review for Clare so had to try and work out what the artist is thinking or telling us. “It doesn’t matter what the artist feels,” she said, “it’s what we feel when we see it that matters”, Sophie is a Professor of Psychology so I’m going with that!

Firstly, if I WAS an artist/sculptor, Cheeseburn Grange would be where I’d want my pieces to be plonked. Owned by the Riddle family since 1752, back in the 1200’s it was a farm belonging to an Augustinian priory and has been remodeled several times to date.

That has a big electric bill I bet.

Secondly, the reason we went in the first place, was to see an exhibition by Chinese artist Qi Yafeng, who, according to the website was installing big shiny sculptures, and that’s like a red rag to a bull for Sophie and me, a historic house AND photography reflections!!  So, we were not expecting the diversity and scope of the sculptures that were on site. 34 artists and 59 sculptures in all.

Before we set off around the grounds, we visited the chapel of St. Francis Xavier, designed by John Dobson and built in 1820. Here we saw an old piece of art, The Descent of Our Saviour from the Cross”, painted in 1824 by the Flemish artist J.S. Verillin.  It is a copy of the central panel of Rubens’ triptych which lies in Antwerp Cathedral.  Old school I know, but I do so love oil paintings, especially the old Masters, and seeing how the artist works the light and shade into the colours.

Opposite was our first ‘new’ ish art, a piece called Earl Grey by Simon Watkinson 

Made in 2004 with 3D scanning and CNC cutting and in response to when Earl Grey’s head was knocked off his statue by lightning in 1942. (Sorry Earl, I laughed :/ )The heads seek to remind people of the face of the man stood at the top of the monument in Newcastle City Centre.

Heads Up.. or down.

After the chapel, we set off on our walk around the grounds. It was an achingly beautiful day, with a cloudless azure sky and it felt like we were on a treasure hunt as we followed the map we’d been given on arrival, discovering beauty, interesting objects, thought-provoking sculpts and bonkers pieces.

Andrew Burtons  ‘Vessels’ series, maybe because my second hobby is mosaic~ing, and these reminded me of that, but these did sing to me! I loved his little bits of colour amongst the terracotta, and the blue & black glass ‘Light Vessel” was a beacon of gorgeousness in the sunshine. I don’t know if they’re supposed to have deep meaning, I just felt happy looking at them and touching them. I’m a simple soul really.


Joseph Hillier has won lots of awards and lives locally, so I’ve seen some of his work around Newcastle and the North East without knowing who they were by. He seems to mostly work with the human form, and the ones in this exhibition are solid, whereas his past stuff has holes in it.   These are titled ‘Lure’,’Origin’ & ‘Untitled’ Unfortunately we didn’t spot the second figure hiding in the woods until we were on the way back, so had not really understood that the steel mesh sculpture was the lure to that figure. Photo’s on his website show that much better.  It wasn’t easy to understand Origin until you got around the back of the figure and saw the hexamagonathing from his bottom’s point of view.

The Lure
The Lured. (Though I think if he keeps going there’s going to be a problem with those nettles!)


The origin. (make of that what you will dear reader.)


I really liked ‘Sea Cups’ by Siobahn Igoe, the colours, and textures and how she had used the shells was beautiful.


Peter Hanmer    Is the 2017 winner of the N.E Young Sculptor of the year. This artwork was held in the potting shed, where he’d used loads of the plant pots and made lots of figures to portray ‘The Allegory of the Cave” from Plato’s ‘The Republic’.  It was quite mind~boggling, and surreal, he used the lighting  (and lack of it) really well, but not the easiest thing to photograph.


Dan Gough had a wowzer of a sculpture further on in the grounds and one for which he won the Gillian Dickinson North East Young Sculpture award in 2016, called ‘Scurry’ which consists of 2000 squirrels showing the red v grey population. It’s done its job now though and you can buy the squirrels in 1,3 or 7 pairs.


That’s a start anyway, more lovely artwork to come so stay tooned.