However exciting it is for an artist’s work to be seen in new and exotic places there is always something special about exhibiting in a place which holds precious personal memories, writes artist Anne Curry.

Oxford is such a place for me.

I arrived in Oxford in 1965 to study Egyptology at St Anne’s after graduating with a history of art degree from La Sorbonne in Paris.

My English was, to put it mildly, fragmentary.

Oxford was a revelation to me- its way of teaching, the company of fellow students, and the sheer beauty of the place. When I left with a D Phil (my English had come along a bit!) I still felt I was living a dream.

So when I had the opportunity to exhibit some of my works in the grounds of Lady Margaret Hall, I jumped at it.

Of course displaying pieces in a public space is challenging, less because of deliberate vandalism than from accidental risks – children playing on the sculpture, or people hanging items from them. But sculpture is meant to be seen, to be experienced, to be felt, so the risks are part of the job and LMH provides an exceptional setting for my pieces with plenty of space and a stunning background of ancient trees.

Oxford Mail:

The study of ancient Egyptian sculpture has influenced my work. I saw there the perfect combination of material, line, volume and tension.

But my passion is for natural forms – and these are the sculptures on display.

Read more: What is Hitler doing in Churchill's Oxfordshire birthplace?

The curves, spiral of growth, the unfolding of leaves and flowers, the bursting of seed pods - all these imply controlled movement, a disciplined mathematical progression and immense internal energy.

I try to capture this in my work. I am always on the look-out for shapes which inspire me – a flower bud about to open, a contorted leaf spotted on a walk, or a seed-pod ready to shed its load.

When I have chosen one, I construct a small maquette or model and then build that into a sculpture in polystyrene before casting it into resin or bronze. It is a complex, meticulous and exhausting process.

Of course sculptors evolve. I began by sculpting portraits and have worked for some notable public figures.

My bust of former Prime Minister John Major is in the lobby of the House of Commons while busts of Michael Heseltine and Roy Jenkins are displayed in neighbouring Portcullis House.

Read again: Poet Kate has a great way to help new mums in Oxford

The bust of Lord Heseltine can also be seen in the Oxford Union.

The LMH exhibition will last until the end of October. Sculpture – especially forms based on nature – evolve with the weather just like the living objects they evoke.

So my sculptures are happy in rain, hail or shine – or, for that matter, snow. It is, I hope, sculpture at one with nature.

  • Anne Curry’s sculptures are on show in the garden at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford until November 14. Entry is free from 8.30am-6pm.


The exhibition at Lady Margaret Hall is staged by Gallery Attaché – based in Wolvercote.

Gallery Attaché specialises in abstract indoor and outdoor sculpture focusing on exhibiting work in relevant and unique places – beyond traditional gallery settings – in and around Oxford.

The online gallery will next be showcasing Dominic Welche’s outdoor sculpture in the more formal grounds of Merton College, Oxford.

More details from