Latest News

Garden openings summer 2017

Jan 30, 2017

This is our year off from on form, but we are open on the weekend of 17-18 June. Sunday 18 June is our regular opening for the National Gardens Scheme., from 2-6pm. This year, we are also planning to open for charity the day before this, with the added attraction of some very special performances and carefully chosen products for sale. This event is in early planning stages, so watch this space for more details in March. We do open the garden to groups, but our group visits are fully booked for 2017. 

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Late summer at on form

Oct 13, 2016

We thought, as the days darken, we’d cheer you with the lovely photographs we’ve just received from Michal Dabrowski, who is a professional photographer in Poland, but spent the summer working as a gardener and installation assistant at on form.   Mishki is second from the right in this accidentally colour-coordinated group on our closing evening. His wife Katia is on the left, and on the right is sculptor Jantien Kahn. thumb_IMG_3618_1024.jpg#asset:3719

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JKM trio brought harmony to our closing weekend

Oct 04, 2016

Our last week-end was enriched by the presence of the JKM Trio, three singers from Amsterdam,  Jessie Ehlhart, Kristin Denzer and Maria Jager. They performed throughout the garden, and in the Ballroom, in a perfect complement to the gentle experience of on form.  Photographs by Jessie Ehlhart and Michal Dabrowski

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Twelfth Night

Jul 01, 2016

Despite a damp evening, the Oxford School of Drama students pulled through and shone in their performance of Twelfth Night. William Peers' Ortollo made a spectacular backdrop for their play.

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A wonderful day at on form

Jun 17, 2016

With early entry at 10am, the enthusiasts who signed up for this workshop had a wonderful day exploring the exhibition, while Francesca's instruction in composition and various painting techniques resulted in some wonderful work, adding a whole new level to on form.

There are several more workshops during on form:

Fri 24 June: Drawing with Miranda Johnston

Fri 1 July: Painting with Kieran Stiles

Fri 8 July: Mindful Drawing with Anna Black

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City & Guilds Students at on form

May 26, 2016

Students from the Historic Carving course at City & Guilds of London Art School came to Asthall to instal their beakhead arch at on form The Beakhead Arch is a first-year project in which students design their own voussoir stone in the Norman style.

City & Guilds of London Art School is a not-for-profit, specialist, higher education institution. The Historic Carving courses began after World War II to train specialists for the restoration of London’s architecture and monuments. They play a crucial role in keeping the important skills of wood and stone carving alive and offer the UK’s only Diplomas and Postgraduate Diplomas in the subject.

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Stone convoy from Switzerland

May 15, 2016

on form is excited to be showing the work of the highly original and talented Swiss sculptor, Sybille Pasche, for the first time. Her work is on its way. We are looking forward to unwrapping this package........

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First on form bursary awarded

Dec 01, 2015

The on form bursary for a sculptor under 30 working in stone has been awarded to Joshua Locksmith. We saw a wide range of exciting proposals from young sculptors, many of whom we are sure will be seen at on form in future years. Josh studied sculpture at Camberwell College of Art and historic stone carving at City & Guilds. For on form 16, he will be making studies in stone of the most symmetrical structures found in nature, those of viruses, contrasting the beauty of their forms with the darker nature of the afflictions they cause. He would like a percentage of any sales of his work at on form to be donated to people or communities affected by these afflictions.

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on form in full summer

Jul 10, 2014

Our catalogue shots are taken in May, and there are huge changes in the garden before we close in early July. Here are some new photos taken in our last week by Peter van den Berg of the more voluptuous end of the summer. We hope you enjoy them. 

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Salusbury World visits on form

Jun 20, 2014

Salusbury WORLD provides educational, social and emotional support for refugee children, and supports parents and the wider refugee community by providing home/school liaison, family workshops and outings, and also a comprehensive social advice service.

Click here to see the wonderful work that Salusbury WORLD is doing

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Venus is here

May 18, 2014

Watch sculptor Mel Fraser guide her sensational Venus into her spot on the front lawn, helped by Vitaly Chmut and Philip Walker

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Studio shots

Feb 14, 2014

These shots were taken in Paul Vanstone's studio by photographer Sammy Green. They give a good sense of the stone carving life, and of the hard work that 30 sculptors are embarked on now in preparation for on form 14. 

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Friday July 9th

Jul 11, 2010

On Friday July 9th, world-renowned sculptor Peter Randall-Page gave an illustrated talk about his work. Here, Peter talks to sculptors Anthony Turner and Frederic Chevarin during a walk around the exhibition.

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Njabulo Madlala

Jul 04, 2010

On Sunday, 4th July, on form was enriched by singing from acclaimed South African baritone Njabulo Madlala, winner of the 2010 Kathleen Ferrier award. Njabulo sang three African songs in the ballroom, as a preview of a concert he will give in Oxford on August 23rd. (Holywell Music Rooms, 7.30 pm. Bookings 01865 202443 Gina Cowen)
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Dance and Drama groups perform at Asthall

Jun 29, 2010

On Sunday June 27th, two groups from Oxford’s Pegasus Theatre came to on form. First, the youth theatre group performed ‘Caring for Lear’ – a moving adaptation of King Lear. The piece made inspired use of different parts of the garden, with the audience following the players from site to site. Later in the afternoon, the Dance Company performed their version of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’, which again made use of various different parts of the garden, and provided an inventive response to some of the sculpture. *For more information about Pegasus Theatre, or to make a donation, go to*

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Emily Young

Jun 29, 2010

Emily Young, shown here beside her work The Equation of Time , visited on form on Friday 24th June to talk about her work and sign copies of her extraordinary book, _Time in the Stone.

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Artists in residence

Jun 29, 2010

John Joekes, Jude Tucker and Luke Dickinson were some of the artists in residence at Asthall Manor last week. Jude has been carving a new piece in alabaster during the show.

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Jun 25, 2010

Chocstar visited on form on Wednesday, 23rd July. Petra Barran, assisted by her brother Ferdie and watched closely by resident gourmands Billie and Baby, dispensed ice cream and brownies to happy visitors.
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School visit

Jun 25, 2010

Children from an Oxfordshire primary school came to visit on form on Thursday, 24th July. They particularly enjoyed watching sculptor Jude Tucker as she carved a piece of alabaster on site. Their teacher said she wished she had allowed an entire day for the visit.

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The Gardeners

Jun 25, 2010

Head gardener Mark Edwards (right) and assistant gardener Michal Dabrowski (left) are responsible for the amazing show of roses and other flowers which form the backdrop to our exhibition.

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Geologist Philip Powell

Jun 15, 2010

Philip Powell, MA, Honorary Associate Curator of the Natural History Museum in Oxford, came to on form to speak about the different stones used in the sculptures. This is one of a series of informal talks which will be taking place during the month-long exhibition.

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But is it green?

Jun 14, 2010

The other day I was talking to somebody about on form, and enthusing, as I tend to, about the aeons of tiny sea creatures, volcanic explosions, sedimentation and erosion, and how the history of the material means that stone sculpture slows us down and reconnects us to the landscape, and he just looked at me and said “I’d rather just go and climb a mountain.” Well, there is that. I am constantly struggling to reduce my carbon footprint, so what am I doing, I wonder, encouraging the quarrying of stone, the flights to Italy and India to buy it, the great big lorries that bring it here and take it away again? Shouldn’t the stone just stay in the ground? It’s where you just have to hope that the pursuit of beauty and meaning justifies a certain amount of disruption. We’re not dead. We’re breathing. So we’d better carry on creating. At least, I argue rather lamely, these artists work in open-sided barns, quite often with hand tools, and not in the giant heated studios of Bratart. And this stuff does, after all, slow people down.

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May 26, 2010

The first day of our main installation fortnight went well, with Simon Hitchens, Julian Rena, Luke Dickinson and Rachel Schwalm all arriving to deliver and instal work. The day was covered by a journalist from BBC Oxford, and Simon Hitchens, Rosie Pearson and Billie the dog all featured on the evening news.

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