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Sculpture By the Lakes
by Pauline Caroline Jones

Sculpture by the Lakes is a beautiful and unique collaboration between acclaimed sculptor, Simon Gudgeon and his wife Monique, an accomplished horticulturist. Also known as Pallington Lakes, the parkland is set in a picturesque part of deepest Dorset, along the meandering river Frome where water meadows are rich in wildlife. Here, land art and landscape exist in perfect harmony with nature, while in contrast high voltage pylons march across the open countryside.

 The experience of strolling along the lakeside is quite magical, encompassing mythological art forms such as 'Isis', named after the Egyptian Goddess of Nature, inspired by the sacred bird ibis.

Graceful 'Isis' also known as 'Serenity' by Simon Gudgeon

Wordage such as 'Search for Enlightenment', 'Whispering Spirit', 'Embrace' and "Some people feel the rain others just get wet" (quote by Bob Marley) give just a hint of what to expect from this wonderous land.

'Whispering Spirit' by Simon Gudgeon

The concept behind 'Whispering Spirit' is that if you put your ear to her mouth a sound will echo the wind and the rustling of the trees.  She is indeed quite captivating.

 The vast scale of the landscape that contends with the expanse of the sky is reflected in the water to great effect, while glimpses across the lake offer intriguingly new perspectives. And there is always an underlying presence of wading birds darting in and out of the water's edge, going about their business.

A content Muscovy duck having a snooze by the lakeside.

What I love about this space is the freedom of expression for both artist and viewer alike. Other talented artists contribute to this huge gallery under the big skies, including wildlife sculptor Adam Binder, whose installation 'Boris Bear' makes a striking and thought-provoking political statement about the environmental issues affecting our fragile world today.

'Boris Bear' by Adam Binder

A strong link between garden design and sculptural form flows throughout the park. Repetition creates unity and harmony, while focal points draw the eye, frame a view, surprise, delight, amuse.

A frivolous 'Fruit Platter' against a backdrop of bamboo.

Closer to the house the planting design comes into its own and continues the tactile, textural, curvaceous theme, punctuated by sculptures.  A pergola is draped with good old-fashioned wisteria, clematis and deliciously scented roses, while in the productive kitchen garden you'll most likely find the odd hen or three strutting about.

Sculpture by the Lakes has an ethereal beauty that enhances its natural surroundings, constantly accentuated by the changing seasons. The only thing I wish is that there was a mini version of Isis to take home!


For more inspiration visit


Look out for Pauline's article about the Sitting Spiritually garden in the September issue of Dorset Life magazine

Whilst visiting Sculpture By The Lakes, why not make a day of it and also visit The Sitting Spiritually Garden, which is only an hour away in Dorset


Pauline is a garden designer, lecturer, writer and shepherdess ... but that's another story ...

All photographs by Pauline Jones


Posted by Siobhan on September 1st 2021

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