In 2015 things will take a comical turn at Burghley with Funny Ha Ha, a sculptural exploration of the funny, surreal, strange and magical. Things may soon be appearing that are out of the ordinary, with the forthcoming annual exhibition featuring many amusing and unusual pieces. These include a skip tank, a subterranean periscope, a cosmic space rock, concrete pacman, a primeval wedge fallen from the sky and a magical space for younger children.
Artists include Donna Bramall, Paul Byatt, Hex, Alex Hallowes, Kypros Kyprianou, JUNGLE, Denis O’Connor, John O’Connor, Louise Plant, Pete Rogers and Richard Trupp amongst others.
The exhibition title’s dual meaning refers to Burghley’s invisible deer fence that protects both the formal lawns and the sightlines to the house. A ha ha is a strange entity, it being almost the absence of a thing and this renders it somewhat absurd. So it is with sculpture, one of the major arts operating under the umbrella of Oscar Wilde’s assertion that all art is useless and in that uselessness lies its purpose. A brief walk around the sculpture garden should be a delight that supports Wilde’s belief.