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Stafford artist heads north by special invitation

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: April 19, 2014

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AN ARTIST from Stafford has been invited to exhibit in the gardens of one of the UK's finest country homes.

Bob Thacker, of Church Eaton, has seven pieces on display in The Grove at Arley Hall in Cheshire which will be seen by thousands of visitors over the summer.

"I was invited to Arley to draw inspiration from The Grove, which is an informal area in the gardens full of exotic trees and flowering shrubs," said Bob, 65. "Arley provides an incredible backdrop in which to display my work so it is a great honour to be asked to be involved."

Bob's artwork will sit alongside work by six other artists who have used metals, glass, sandstone and wood to create their works of art.

His pieces vary from simple abstract stained glass panels framed in steel and English hardwoods to more complex, three dimensional pieces.

Bob, pictured, is also showing a range of bee and butterfly sculptures in stained glass and copper. His beautiful creations will use the light of The Grove to embellish the natural beauty of the foliage.

In total there are more than 30 pieces in the outdoor exhibition and some are for sale.

Visitors to Arley – renowned for its double herbaceous border and magnificent hall – will be handed a map to guide them around the exhibits.

Other sculptures take the form of greyhounds, a life-sized stag and a cow with her calf. There are also ornate, colourful abstract pieces.

Arley's general manager Steve Hamilton said he hoped the sculptures and art in The Grove would provide a new talking point.

"All art is subjective but we hope the pieces will stimulate debate amongst visual art enthusiasts whilst others will just marvel at the skill of local craftsmen," he said.

"We're delighted with the range and quality of the pieces that have been produced and they have really added to the visitor experience at Arley."

The exhibition continues until October 31.

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