I have been aware of the existence of the CASS Foundation for a number of years but had somehow never actually got around to visiting until recently. Having commissioned over 400 contemporary sculptures in the past 20 years, the Foundation’s woodland location, deep in the heart of the Sussex countryside, is well worth a visit.
It’s also easy to be a little wary of anything to do with sculpture located in rural locations, where it is rather too easy to end up at a depressing collection of derivative organic forms or animal carvings.
Immediately it was evident that this was was not going to be a disappointing visit. Standing guard outside the gates was a delightfully over the top work by Gary Webb in pink, silver and gold whilst next to the parking area were other works by Tony Cragg and Sean Henry.
A stroll around the winding paths of the estate revealed a series of contemporary sculpture of the highest quality. An army of Peter Burke figures in corten steel stood to attention in a clearing whilst a blancmange pink zebra entitled Doppenganger by Michael Joo gazed over the adjacent fields.
Bill Woodrow’s 2000 piece for the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square Regardless of History has found a home here as has Eduardo Paolozzi’s London-Paris – the last work that he completed before he died.
Other notable pieces include Cao Fei’s pink inflatable pig House of Treasures Phillip King’s Suns Roots II and Juliana Cerqueira Leite’s Climb (she also has a pavilion of her work on show).
The organisation is actually a charitable foundation in 1992 by Wilfred and Jeannette Cass dedicated to commissioning new work from emerging and established artists. The Foundation’s 26 acre grounds are home to an ever-changing display of 80 monumental sculptures, many of which are available for sale with the proceeds going directly to artists.
The main building has a changing exhibition – currently the excellent Gary Webb.
The CASS Sculpture Foundation is open 7 days a week 10.30-4.30 through the summer
CASS, New Barn Hill, Goodwood, near Chichester PO18 0QP. Tel (0)1243 538 449
All images by CELLOPHANELAND*.