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The Lettering Arts Trust re-launches collection at Grimsthorpe Castle near Bourne





While today we can create words at the simple tap of a finger, an arts trust wants to remind people the traditional craft of letter carving should not be forgotten.

The Lettering Arts Trust, a charity advocating the appreciation and education of letter carving, has re-launched a collection at Grimsthorpe Castle.

The Old Walled Garden at the Lincolnshire castle now plays host to the largest group of creations in the charity’s Art and Memory Collection.

Karoline Newman and Lucy McDowell of The Lettering Arts Trust and Jim Handley, head of gardens at Grimsthorpe Castle
Karoline Newman and Lucy McDowell of The Lettering Arts Trust and Jim Handley, head of gardens at Grimsthorpe Castle

Late last year, 15 artworks at Grimsthorpe Castle were renovated and 10 more were relocated.

Karoline Newman, trustee of The Lettering Arts Trust, said: “There is something serene about the landscape.

“When you step into the walled garden you immediately get a sense of the history and recognise that people have used it over many, many years.

“It is wonderful to have the art work together and also free standing.

Seed Shop by Sheena Devitt
Seed Shop by Sheena Devitt

“You have got the chance to look at the collection together and be able to consider each piece individually for its own beauty.”

At Grimsthorpe Castle there are works by renowned lettering artists including Ralph Beyer, who carved the ‘Tablets of the Word’ at Coventry Cathedral, and Andrew Whittle, who created the inscription for the 'Animals in War’ memorial in Park Lane, London.

The collection features different ideas, materials, and styles all nestled within the historic garden.

Ralph Beyer created 'How Good Is Man's Life The Mere Living'
Ralph Beyer created 'How Good Is Man's Life The Mere Living'

Mark Noad, chairperson of the Lettering Arts Trust, said: “To create and hand carve fine lettering is a hard won skill, with a longstanding heritage that the Lettering Arts Trust is pleased and determined to support through its programme of apprenticeships and journeymen.

“For more than 30 years, this charity has raised public awareness for lettering as an art form. “The Art and Memory Collection serves to remind and prompt us that the act of commemoration can be beautiful and original in the hands of an artist.”

In recent decades technology has replaced skilled craftspeople in a host of industries, by providing an often cheaper and quicker alternative.

Stumbling Block by Charles Gurrey
Stumbling Block by Charles Gurrey

But currently there is no machine which can match the subtlety of the trained hand and eye in varying the width and depth of the cut, and in making the minute adjustments in spacing.

The collection is open on the same days as the castle, park and gardens, and is included in the standard ticket price.

Karoline, who lives in Suffolk, hopes the collection gives a moment for people to stop and think.

Bless by Una Sullivan
Bless by Una Sullivan

She added: “We are very bad as a society at talking about death.

“Maybe this will give the opportunity to have an open conversation about what matters.”

Bless by Una Sullivan
Bless by Una Sullivan
Change by Malcolm Gibbons and Malcolm Sier
Change by Malcolm Gibbons and Malcolm Sier
Silver Moon and Golden Sun by Harry Brockway
Silver Moon and Golden Sun by Harry Brockway
Charles Smith's carving features an inscription from the poem The River by William Jones
Charles Smith's carving features an inscription from the poem The River by William Jones
Touch by James Salisbury features text taken from Thom Gunn's poem Touch
Touch by James Salisbury features text taken from Thom Gunn's poem Touch
Six Stones: a memorial to lost and endangered species, which was created by Andrew Whittle
Six Stones: a memorial to lost and endangered species, which was created by Andrew Whittle
Peter Foster's creations The Archaic Torso of Apollo by Rainer Maria Wilke and Alphabet
Peter Foster's creations The Archaic Torso of Apollo by Rainer Maria Wilke and Alphabet
Eccentric Circles Fountain, which was created by Geoffrey Aldred out of Ancaster Stone
Eccentric Circles Fountain, which was created by Geoffrey Aldred out of Ancaster Stone
Clock, designed by Kate Owen and carved by Hugh Grace
Clock, designed by Kate Owen and carved by Hugh Grace
Circular Stone Seat by Teucer Wilson
Circular Stone Seat by Teucer Wilson
Karoline Newman and Lucy McDowell of The Lettering Arts Trust and Jim Handley, head of gardens at Grimsthorpe Castle
Karoline Newman and Lucy McDowell of The Lettering Arts Trust and Jim Handley, head of gardens at Grimsthorpe Castle
Lucy Churchill's cupped hands
Lucy Churchill's cupped hands

While Grimsthorpe Castle holds the biggest collection, there are dozens of other lettered works at six venues across the country. This includes Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol; Blair Castle, Perthshire; Canterbury Cathedral, Kent; Monnow Valley Arts Centre, Herefordshire and Winterbourne Botanical Garden, Birmingham.



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