Caol Ruadh Sculpture Park set to open for the summer

Caol Ruadh House

THE Caol Ruadh Sculpture Park must be one of the most spectacular open air art galleries anywhere – indeed even the setting is a work of art! 

Situated near Colintraive in Cowal, Argyll, on the shores of Loch Riddon, Caol Ruadh boasts a stunning vista encompassing miles of kyles and isles and is just about to open its doors to the general public again for a two-month period over the summer from Saturday 1st July

The sculpture park is set within 18 acres of landscaped gardens around an impressive red brick manor house that dates back to 1898.   Caol Ruadh, pronounced ‘col ru’, is Gaelic for ‘red narrows’ referring to the narrowing of the straight between Cowal and Bute.

The idea of showcasing Scottish artists around the grounds was the brainchild of owner Karen Scotland, a native of Australia who bought the property with her husband Colin back in 1998.

“It’s a wonderful location with lots of fine spaces that are perfect for highlighting sculptures and installations,” explained Karen.

“We first opened the Park up to the public in 2012 with co-curator Anne Edmonds and have, since then, welcomed thousands of visitors from all over the world as well as many local people keen on engaging with our latest artworks.

“This year we will have around 48 works of art from 14 artists dotted around the gardens and we hope that people will enjoy this magical space.  It’s a real family friendly experience with children enjoying the open spaces and loch side whilst the adults muse and ponder over the sculptures,” added Karen.

The 14 artists exhibiting at Caol Ruadh are Moira Ferguson, Bill Williamson, Tom Allan, Kathy Bruce, Janice Affleck, Guy Elder, Frances Clark, Christian Ball, Vanessa Lawrence, Ellen McCann, Louise McVey, Illona Morrice, Rob Mulholland and Karen Westerbeek.

Over the past decade many of Scotland’s leading sculptors have exhibited at Caol Ruadh with many returning again and again with their latest pieces.  All of the scuptures are available to buy.  Additional indoor gallery space is also utilised within a workshop at the venue.

One of those returning sculptors, Illona Morrice, from Cummingston on the Moray Firth, commented: “As the gardens and the landscaping matures and develops, so the art and its place within the nature evolves.  Each yearly exhibition offers a new experience for visitors.”

Karen, a keen sculptor and artist herself, concluded “We are seeking to share this amazing place with as many people as possible and feel that it provides the perfect backdrop to thought provoking artworks.  We look forward to welcoming visitors throughout July and August.”

Caol Ruadh is open (Thursdays to Sundays) from Saturday 1st July through until Sunday 3rd September, 11am to 6pm. Entry is £5 for adults with a sculpture trail map included.

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