Eddie has spent the last 15 years transforming the ten-acre site, adjoining Frensham Common Country Park, into one of the leading sculpture parks in the UK, attracting tens of thousands of visitors a year.
Taking advantage of the natural contours of the undulating Surrey hills, he has created the perfect haven for the display of sculpture, with paths meandering through mixed heathland and woodland in a natural valley enhanced by three lakes, fed by two natural streams.
On Tuesday 23 June, Summers Place Auctions will be offering Powell’s personal collection, an auction that will feature more than 200 lots. The sale will include an important group of over 20 pictures and prints by the renowned artist Robert Lenkiewicz, with estimates from £80-100 for a print up to £20,000-£30,000 for the top lot painting.
Some of Eddie’s own photographs (he graduated from Guildford College of Art with a First Class Honours degree in Photography and Sculpture), dating back to his one-man exhibition, Captivity, at the Photographers Gallery in London’s West End, will also be included; they will carry estimates of £400-£600 (unframed) and £600-£1,000 (framed).
Eddie will also be offering some of his own sculpture in the sale. He sculpts under the pseudonym of Wilfred Pritchard, the name of his grandfather, who first inspired Eddie into appreciating sculpture as a child. Backflip, his bronze of a skeleton vaulting over a horse (est. £15,000-£20,000), was chosen to be one of a select group of sculptures exhibited in the Athletes’ Village during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Eddie has sold his pieces under his pseudonym for as much as £40,000 over the last five years; some of them are now in public collections, both in this country and abroad.
Other sculptures included are by fellow “Olympic” sculptor Nicola Godden: a slightly smaller Icarus 2 sculpture, expected to fetch £25,000-£30,000; and an enormous sculpture of an eagle made from corks, which was created for and funded by the R.S.P.B. (est. £15,000-£20,000). It was an attempt to persuade wine producers to continue using cork stoppers, to preserve the cork forests of Spain and Portugal, the threatened habitat of the Spanish Imperial eagle. It was first exhibited at the Eden Project in Cornwall and part of the proceeds from the sale of the eagle will go towards the charity.
Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the sale will be the chance to bid for a monumental bronze bust of Sir Winston Churchill, taken from the original plaster of the full-length figure of Churchill by Ivor Roberts-Jones RA, a nationally famous piece that stands in Parliament Square, Westminster. The casting process was supervised by the sculptor Nigel Boonham FRBS, past President of the Society of Portrait Sculptors, on behalf of the trustees of the Ivor Roberts-Jones estate. It is number one of an edition of only six which will ever be made – it is estimated at £50,000-£80,000.
Roberts-Jones portrayed Churchill “as the wartime leader at the time of the Normandy Landings and the return of the Allies to Europe. Consequently the figure exudes total confidence: facing the Houses of Parliament, their greatest servant in modern times is portrayed as a giant at the height of his powers”. After the statue was unveiled in 1973 it “provided a much needed breakthrough in post-War portraiture”; subsequently the statue has justly achieved iconic status.
There will also be some lots included for anyone interested in four wheels – The Beast, a Ministry of Alternative Transport creation, will be for sale at an estimate of £8,000-£12,000, as well as Eddie’s battleship grey and ivory Rolls Royce (est. £6,000-£8,000). Only rarely coming up at auction, a few Bonsai Trees will be included in this sale, among them a Pinus Parviflora Japanese White Pine, which is 57cm high and 114cm wide (estimate £4,000-£6,000).
The furniture included in the sale is diverse: from a salvaged mining trolly turned into a sofa in Eddie’s birth country, Wales, a piece expected to sell for £800-£1,200, to contemporary furniture such as Ugini cattle horn and hide chairs (£2,000-3,000). Among the objets d’art are The Simpsons, a big glass light, (£800-£1,200) and the stainless steel Double Eye, standing 250cm high (est. £5,000-£8,000).
James Rylands, Director of Summers Place Auctions, notes, “I’ve known Eddie for the last ten years and have long been an admirer of his taste across many disciplines in the arts field, and his unerring ability to identify and nurture upcoming sculptors and artists.”
Eddie adds, “Creating The Sculpture Park and building up my collections in other related areas has been the passion of my life, but moving to a smaller house has necessitated the sale of many of the pictures and objects which I’ve enjoyed collecting over the years. Likewise The Sculpture Park is constantly evolving, and with over 700 pieces on display, we need to free up the space to showcase more upcoming talent.”
All of the outdoor sculpture in the sale will be on view in The Sculpture Park.