While some turned to painting and design to brighten their homes during the pandemic, others looked to large-scale and materially ambitious sculpture to adorn their gardens. “There has been a mass exodus from London, and people with money have moved to the Cotswolds or similar places where they have gardens, or bigger spaces, and are looking for sculptures to fill them,” says George Mingozzi-Marsh, who launched Contemporary Sculpture Fulmer in 2017.
The dealer says that 80% of the people who came to his sculpture park last year were first-time visitors, as the art-loving public sought new ways to view art in person while museums and galleries were closed. And, with more time on their hands to consider heftier purchases, collectors have been buying, too. “A lot of the clients we have relied on year-on-year went very quiet on us, but then we had a surge of new people,” Mingozzi-Marsh says. “The past six months have been the best six months of business we’ve had.”
Despite the difficulties of producing and installing large sculptures—compounded by lockdown—the business for bigger works is booming, and it is no longer just corporations that are doing the commissioning and collecting.