Just before the lockdown, we were lucky that there was time for a visit by Paul’s oldest friend, and talented British Sculptor, Benjamin Dearnley. Not only did Ben help us to engrave our new marble sign now in pride of place at the entrance to Treseren, but he also bought a number of significant works to display in the house and gardens here.
Ben is renowned for his work for the 2012 Olympics, for which he created a number of works, including a two times life size sculpture of British swimmer, and 5 times Olympian, Mark Foster. This work was commissioned by The City of Bath and has a permanent home in the centre of the City after its unveiling took place on the 22nd May 2012 to coincide with the Olympic Flame coming to light the way to the London 2012 Games
You can see Ben creating the sculpture here.
Ben also created sculptures of other talented Olympians and Paralympians in his ‘Avenue of Champions’ series. Some of these sculptures are now on display at Treseren, including the bronze of Mark Foster, created at the same time as the larger sculpture in Bath. Ben created a plinth for it to sit on and we are so lucky to have it taking pride of place in the main sitting room here at Treseren. Such an important piece, and now here for all of our guests to enjoy.
In addition, you will find Ben’s work scattered across the gardens. From The Avenue of Champions series, we also have on display Paralympics wheelchair medallist & basketball Champion, Ade Adepitan’s, torso. Olympic Rower, Debbie Flood’s back cast in bronze, both with a beautiful aged patina.
We were particularly excited about the sculpture of Ade. In an incredible personal link, both Emma and Paul worked with Ade when Emma was a Director at the BBC, and Ade was presenting one of the CBBC shows. On one memorable filming trip from London to Cornwall at local beach and adventure centre, Lusty Glaze, Paul filmed Ade descending from a zip wire on to the beach. He has such brilliant energy, as we have seen up close, watching him whizz up hills using his wheelchair. His physicality is captured beautifully in the strength and positioning of his torso in this sculpture.
Old Friend, a horse head fragment, after the Greek classical fragments in the British museum is now gracing our fire pit area. Carved from Portland stone, it has a noble beauty and we love that it adds to the rustic vibe there. This particular piece has become a favourite of our daughter, Georgia.
Another work, Spirit of the Sea, a beautiful marble carving sits proudly in the lawned garden opposite the middle facade of the house.
The Carrara marble for this piece was collected by Ben himself from the mountains of marble in Italy. This piece shows the face of the ‘Spirit of the sea’ along with inside the curling wave/head shape, the white horse emerging form within the wave.
And let’s not forget one of our own pieces, a beautiful female head fragment carving that Ben gave to Emma on a visit many years ago. It now sits in The Drawing Room, witness to some of our beautiful weddings, next to candle light and the wood burner where we hold our elopement weddings in the autumn and winter.
It may be small, but it has an incredible presence and beauty.
We are so excited to be displaying Ben’s works for all of our guests to enjoy when they visit. For those who are really interested in his work and process, Ben is always happy to chat about the creation of his pieces and we can put you in touch. We may even invite Ben for an artist in residence weekend workshop at Treseren later in the year. Watch this space!