A SCULPTURE inspired by the beauties of Inverewe Garden is at the centre of a new exhibition.

The renowned sculptor Ann Coomber, who moved to the Highlands from Essex more than 30 years ago, has been inspired by the shelterbelt at the National Trust for Scotland’s Inverewe Garden in Wester Ross.

The piece is called The Shelter of Your Arms and is the focal point of a new exhibition in the Sawyer Gallery at Inverewe where there are many different tress and plants which benefit from the warming effect of the Gulf Stream as it meets the shores of Scotland.

Coomber created the work in response to the striking setting of the gallery, in the heart of Inverewe Garden.

The creation of this sculpture has also been documented by Sawyer Gallery curator Adrian Hollister in photographs and video. ‘A sculptor at work’ is showcased alongside the sculpture and presents a rare insight into the inspiration, the thoughts and the sculpting process.

According to the National Trust for Scotland (NTS): “The exotic planting which thrives there is only possible due the ‘shelterbelt’ of high trees which protect the exposed location from salt spray and strong, cool winds.”

Coomber explained: “Whenever I visit Inverewe Garden, I am always impressed that its success and viability depend on the trees that were planted early in the project to shelter it from the strong winds.

“I wanted to acknowledge that contribution and decided on an ‘abstracted’ leaf shape for my sculpture. All my sculptures contain a memory and I felt it apt that this particular work should be imbued with the feeling of being held in a loving embrace, feeling safe and secure enough to develop your potential.”

The Shelter of Your Arms is one of several pieces created by Coomber which are on display throughout the garden and in the Sawyer Gallery.

Coomber is internationally known for her work with stone and wood and has exhibited at Kew Garden for ‘Sculpt at Kew 2017’.

NTS said: “Taking organic or biological forms as her starting point, Ann gradually develops, simplifies, abstracts them, all the while drawing on her own direct, emotional instincts.

“During this creative process, she digs deep into her own stories, memories, experience and emotions, imbuing the sculpture with meaning – recording her own journey through time and space, both imagined and real.

“Albeit intensely personal, her sculptures retain some degree of mystery and ambiguity – they remain secrets to be unlocked.”

The exhibition runs until August 30 at The Sawyer Gallery at Inverewe which is perched on a peninsula at the shores of Loch Ewe amid the rugged landscape of Wester Ross.

NTS explained: “This creative space exhibits a truly inspiring series of artworks throughout the year, which reflect the unique characteristics of the garden and the surrounding natural and man-made environment. Most of the artists showcasing their art at the gallery will spend some time resident in the garden to create their works.”

Operations manager Kevin Frediani said: “As a result of the Gulf Stream meeting the Highlands, Inverewe Garden is a nirvana of unusual and wonderful plants and wildlife. Through our arts and exhibition programme we are providing visitors with another dimension to the garden and new way to enjoy Scotland’s national and natural treasures.”