Sir Tim Smit is set to open the Ashburner Prize sculpture exhibition at Stone Lane Gardens to the public on 1st July at 3pm. The prestigious exhibition will showcase the South West’s emerging artists and will be open to visitors until October 31st.

Located, near Chagford, Devon, only minutes from the A30 and Castle Drogo, the Gardens have been described as “a gem” by horticulturalist and broadcaster Jo Swift.

Now in its 30th year the exhibition has received a record number of entries from artists competing for the prize which this year is sponsored by Caradon Granite. Most pieces exhibited will be available to buy.

Stone Lane Gardens is an RHS Partner Garden, which holds a unique National Collection of Birch and Alder trees from around the world. The Gardens have long had a connection with art and have a semi-permanent collection of sculptures to enjoy within its grounds by renowned artists including Peter Randall-Page RA.

The Gardens are an inspiration to artists and visitors. 2021 prize winner, Nicola Turner says, “Every time I visited, it was a joy to wander and discover all the exhibits nestled in its corners”.

The Ashburner Prize is named after the Garden’s founders, June and Kenneth Ashburner.

This year’s panel of judges consists of internationally renowned ceramic sculptor Sandy Brown, author and academic Penny Florence, and charity trustee Sandy Lipo. The theme of the 2022 exhibition is Connectivity.

Sir Tim Smit is a co-founder of the Eden project and first gained notability with his re-discovery of the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall.