CASS SCULPTURE FOUNDATION

WEBSITE: www.sculpture.org.uk
LOCATION: Sussex, UK
NEAREST AIRPORTS: Gatwick Airport, 1 hour drive
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I am not sure I would recommend the 2 hours drive to Sussex from London for a visit at CASS Sculpture Foundation alone, but should be incorporated into a visit in the area, which is England at its loveliest.

The foundation is very much worthy of support for the great work that they do. The foundation pays the production costs of manufacturing sculpture. Once the work is fabricated, it goes on display for a time on the grounds of the foundation before being sold on. The funds generated from the sale are then used to pay for the next sculpture.

Producing high quality sculpturs is very expensive. Bronze, for example, can set you back a few tens of thousands of pounds, without considering the labour. Even when using what might seem like cheap materials, expenses can go beyond an artist’s means, even of a well-known artist. It is also hard to find a buyer for such works as they tend to be expensive and not everyone has the space to accommodate a large artwork. This does tend to put artists off from creating large scale works, which is a pity, not least for the dying art of casting large scale bronzes.

CASS was established by Wilfred and Jeannette Cass on a 26 acre plot of land behind their home. It is a beautiful wooded area, carefully maintained, which looks out over fields with sheep grazing. All very romantic. I was a little let down by some of the sculptures on my visit thanks to some poor commissioning decisions back in 2016, but they might be entirely different on my next visit as new works are fabricated and the old ones get sold. Equipped with a map, the walk can take around 1.5hours, and is a lovely way to get some fresh country air on a Sunday.

If you do go, I would incorporate a visit to some of the other local attractions such as Goodwood House, Petworth, or Chichester. Petworth in particular is a beautiful market town, and as CASS doesn’t offer any food or drink beyond a small selection of crisps or biscuits, I would make time for lunch or dinner here, notably at The Angel pub, where the atmosphere and the food wont let you down.

CASS has been involved in the commissioning and creating of some remarkable sculptures, including by Anthony Caro, Eduardo Paolozzi, Rachel Whiteread, Tony Cragg, Antony Gormley and Sara Barker. Their model of operation was innovative and fresh and much emulated by further foundations around the globe. If you are in the area. I would strongly suggest a visit.