Hatfield Sculpture Trail

It’s funny how weekends can occasionally take on a completely spontaneous character, with a crazy little thing you decide to do on the spur of the moment being great fun.

Which brings me to Hatfield House, armed with my Nikon Df, 58mm F1.4G and 24mm F1.4G. Although it’s a location we visit often to take our son to the farm there, this time we decided to go to the British Sculpture Exhibition in the West Garden.

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When we arrived I made sure to park as far from the farm as possible. Nonetheless we had a few “I want to see the animals” from our son (as I had been warned). With some misdirection/sleight of hand we were able to make it through the courtyard into the garden.

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We’ve been before to the sculpture exhibition over the last two years and I’ve posted about it before. However, the previous years exhibition wasn’t my cup of tea, so this year was a refreshing surprise.

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I was actually blown away by the sheer number and quality of the sculpture this year. Some of it had been off visiting Chelsea flower show and hadn’t returned as yet, but most of it was there and it was incredibly impressive.

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I guarantee you that not everything here will be to your taste. In fact one chap approached me in the garden to ask what I made of the sculpture of a naked old woman (with a top hat) riding a dinosaur. “Great fun” was my reply, but I do understand everyone’s taste varies!

Out for a canter

What I really enjoyed was the way that there were examples of a number of different genres and themes, all very well executed – some of course better than others and some of course more interesting than others. However, the planning around the positions and locations was spot on in my book.

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I was a bit worried that our son (now 3) would struggle to maintain interest in the art, but he loved it. It may have helped that all the artwork had numbers on it, but good art is often interactive and speaks to you even if you aren’t a critic. To put it another way, if a three year old wants to introduce his toy pig to the sculpture, wants to dance through, around, and generally is a bit amazed by the sculpture on display I think it’s got to be good! I asked him at the end which one he liked and he “liked the dinosaur but most of sculpture very good”.

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I was happy enough with the results from the 58mm without being blown away. It does have excellent bokeh, but even it can’t do much with a background of vegetation! The 24mm again impressed me. Notionally the Zeiss 25mm F2 ZF.2 is a higher rated lens on DXOmark, but that doesn’t reflect my experience, almost every shot from the 24mm f1.4G is a study in great microcontrast and subtle colour graduations/detail.

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Taken with my Nikon Df and Nikon 58mm f1.4G and Nikon 24mm f1.4G.

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2 thoughts

  1. Simon this all looks fab. I must pay a visit too. A must for anyone who likes quirky characters in Alice in wonderland or in sci-fi horror such as hellraiser . Brilliant

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