Jackie Wullschlager in The Financial Times


29th June 2010

on form has since 2002 presented a show whose focus and dedication is in a different class from the potpourri of conceptual installations elsewhere.

on form is a serious, committed, intellectually adventurous biennial exhibition of stone sculpture, the largest of its kind in the UK. In this Jacobean house with acres of gardens and yew walks, orchards and lakes, Pearson showcases two dozen of the most accomplished artists in this difficult but compelling medium – by which heavy inert rock is transformed into something dynamic, and our connection with landscape and nature re-affirmed.

Some are well-known. Emily Young’s wonderfully luminous pierced discs and pared-down, silent figures; Peter Randall-Page’s delicate balance between geometry and the random vagaries of stone markings; Bridget McCrum’s abstracted animals. Among younger artists, Paul Vanstone’s huge expressive heads, Luke Dickinson’s abstractions on the theme of movement and growth; the raw surface textures and solemn serenity in the work of Simon Hitchens….are notable, though at Asthall there are always new discoveries. “Do touch” the signs read, inviting tactile experience of the shapes, textures and temperatures of exotically named stones – Swaledale fossil, Plumpton red, Ancaster weatherbed, Portuguese Estramoze – as well as the material’s timeless, time-arresting quality.

For the original article, click here