Sculptures have been a feature of stately home gardens for centuries giving a focus point to the landscape and a point of interest to draw the eye. Sculpture gardens are now dotted throughout the UK from Houghton Hall in Norfolk to the Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens in Cornwall to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Anthony Gormley’s pieces tower over the approach to the North West and his figures appear from the depths as the tide retreats in Liverpool. To walk amongst the monumental Henry Moore sculptures at the Henry Moore Studios and Gardens is an unforgettable experience.
Taking this on in a personal space for many is a new concept and a big step. Transferring art from galleries to gardens rather than interiors seems excessive and yet many sculptures are produced with this in mind and the materials used are, if not immune, certainly weather resilient. Lichen will grow on stone and the stone will weather. The patina of a bronze will change as the copper in the alloy reacts to the elements. But this ageing surely adds to the allure rather than detracts. An original piece of art in the home, crafted by the hands of an artist, entirely changes the feel of the room and so in a garden there is a huge difference between an artist’s sculpture and mass-produced ornamentation.
The work of Nando Kallweit has had many outdoor installations in Germany and his large-scale bronzes have been permanently acquired by the German municipalities of Ahrenshoop, Parow, Putbus, Wismar and Schwerin to stand in castle grounds, city parks and overlooking lakes. Nando produces bronzes in a range of sizes suitable as much for restricted city spaces as they are for more expansive country retreats.
To showcase his work we approached Katie Bayfield from Salhouse Hall in Norfolk. Katie and her husband, Lester, bought the Hall in 2017 and have lovingly restored the building back to its former beauty over the last few years. Katie kindly allowed us to display Nando’s work in the grounds for a recent photoshoot and while we were there, we had a chat with her about the importance of her garden.
Can you tell us how you felt taking on such a massive restoration project?
It was a challenge! Luckily Lester runs a renovation building firm and we had already restored an old hall previously, but this was definitely our biggest project so far! Everything we touched fell apart. We completely gutted it. We replaced floors, walls and put in new ceilings. We saved it from ruin – I don’t know how long it would have survived. I am so glad we did though, the house has such a wonderful feeling and we think we have brought her back to life.
Since the pandemic how important has your home become to you?
It has changed how we see it, we used to go abroad during the year but obviously this has changed that and even for the next year, possibly. We created our home to be somewhere our family could enjoy too. We have a cinema room for the boys, and arcade barn for them to play in. For me I wanted our home to be sympathetic to the era but at the same time work for me and my design taste. I feel I have really achieved this. I really love my house and I enjoy being at home with the family and our Chow puppy!
Tell us about your garden…
We have 30 acres of land which came with the Hall, a huge undertaking in itself, so we bought 30 deer to roam free and eat the grass!
Our latest project has been the walled garden at the back. This we have created to reflect the beauty of the house. We planted mature trees and bushes and everything has taken really well. We have created a centre point led to by paths, it almost feels like a castle garden as the surrounding walls have the original turrets! I have kept the design very green and recently added some jasmine around the arches (which I cannot wait to flower!). The garden gets a lot of sun so it’s perfect for foliage.
How important is your garden for you now?
So important! I am pleased we have finished it in time for the summer. I can’t wait to sit outside with my friends and enjoy a glass of wine and fire up the pizza oven. In the future we are hoping to put facilities in the buildings attached to the walled garden for keeping drinks, making food and toilet facilities, this way it becomes more of a self-contained social area.
Do you believe that the garden is now the fifth room in terms of design?
Yes, I always did believe the garden should be an extension of your home in terms of design, however the importance of the functionality of it is greater now. Seeing Nando’s beautiful statues in the garden did make me realise that bringing art outside was an element we hadn’t considered before. The statues do reflect my design style and seeing them placed in the garden, watching the shadows move over the day fascinated me. We are lucky to have so many perfect spots in the gardens where his work fitted so naturally, even in the ruins we have, the statues looked so magical!
What is the next project for you both?
We are just going to enjoy our home and garden this year, we are fortunate our onsite holiday cottages have taken off so they will keep us busy and we will keep everyone updated on Instagram with our latest developments around the hall.
For more information on Salhouse Hall you can follow Katie on Instagram at @salhousehallinteriors
To visit Nandos work please click here