Fall through the looking glass, enter another dimension, bathe in Nature. Find your way to Marion Bartlett's Singhampton Sculpture Garden.
It's not every day that you see a red bike in the middle of a forest. And then go about creating it.
Other days, if you're Marion Bartlett, you might see a life sized glistening faerie with beautiful wings sitting on the limb of a tree that you are about to pass under. Or a beautiful patch of colourful flowers in some old hubcaps. Or a fish. Or a bird.
Marion's remarkable sculpture garden is the result of many similar visions that her creativity guided her to make real, much to my friend Barb's and my delight this past Friday morning. Marion is an accomplished sculptor and artist whose sculpture installations, made from bronze, stone, or wood, are on public display throughout Ontario.
While the inspirations may start with Marion, she is quick to acknowledge the contributions of her life partner and studio mate Richard Bino, whose beautiful wooden objects and handcrafted furnishings, are meticulously made utilizing both local and exotic wood.
It's a collaboration between the two, engineering and creativity work together in making the ideas real then comes the herculean task of placing them in the forest and bolstering them to them withstand our Winters.
Funny though, it feels as though the pieces are designed to become more beautiful with time. Marion talks about how the rust on some of the pieces has only served to make them even more interesting. We agreed. Wabi Sabe. Speaking of Winter, I would imagine these forests and the installations have their own special beauty regardless of the season - making me think that a Winter visit is an absolute must. Snowshoes amongst Nature AND Art anyone?
Marion is a wonderful hostess who enjoys sharing her creativity journey with you, the excitement of making her thoughts real, and she is generous with her learning, and tips picked up along the way.
Once you have completed your forest tour, I would suggest you pop upstairs to the Loft Studio, filled with beautiful one of a kind clay, wooden, metal pieces, and an upcycled sittee for four that will one day find the absolutely right home for the absolutely right owner.
I was so tempted to post more photos but I didn't want to spoil the surprise of you being able to see the pieces for the first time. The photos on Marion's site don't do the experience justice. In both my photos and the ones on Marion's site you don't get a sense of the scale of the property (3 acres) and the scale of the sculptures in their setting. This is not an "It's cute!" moment. This is WOW. Not to mention how MANY there are.
Do put this one on your to do list. It's a morning well spent, an afternoon in a shady lush forest, and a mind blowing expression of creativity. Only 20 minutes from Collingwood at best. Two and a half hours (tops) from anywhere in the GTA and surrounding areas.
Phone or email ahead - make an appointment, you'll be glad you did.
Free admission. Marion Bartlett Sculpture
Please tell Marion that Heidi from GREEN LOVE told you about her and her garden.
With Green Love,