Reflections on David Harber

Renowned British sculptor, David Harber, creates extraordinary pieces which are known for their iconic design and artistry. With his sculptures taking RHS Chelsea Flower Show by storm, we delve deeper into his work…

David Harber’s “Steel Breeze”

Coming face-to-face with Harber’s latest trade stand creation – the other-worldly Steel Breeze – is a wondrous experience. Named after a lyric in Pink Floyd’s Shine On You Crazy Diamond and by the way the wind blows through the sculpture, the Oxfordshire-based artist reflects on his inspiration for the piece:

“Steel Breeze plays with the light, offering kaleidoscopic reflections of the environment around it… The piece has a lyrical and whimsical quality. What you see isn’t obvious – in fact, there’s an element of being lost in space and time when you view it.”

Indeed, the circular sculpture almost floats as it reflects and alters its surroundings, creating a playful looking-glass through which we can study the natural world. Created from mirror polished stainless steel with two circular discs positioned parallel to each other, and laser cut in an elaborate pattern to reveal the space between them, it is then encircled by an elegant band of antique tan-patinated bronze.

While the piece comes with the interior mirror polished, those who wish to add their own spin can customise it with internal lighting, by painting the inside or leaving it unpolished.

Other pieces featured alongside Steel Breeze are David Harber’s signature sculptures including the Armillary Sphere, Dark Planet, Hydra, Mantle, Quiver, and Torus.

The 2019 Chelsea Garden

Having received numerous accolades in the past, including the RHS Chelsea Flower Show’s coveted award for the Best Trade Stand in Show, the Director General’s Trade Stand Award, and the Sundries Trophy a total of six times, the 2019 show promises to be another action-packed time for Harber.

The Savills and David Harber Garden

This year, the award-winning artist is once again sponsoring a Main Avenue Show Garden with global real estate services provider, Savills. The brainchild of celebrated garden designer, Andrew Duff MSGD – an esteemed member of the Society of Garden Designers – the garden is a celebration of the environmental benefit and beauty of trees, plants and grass in urban spaces. The immersive space seeks to create a beautiful, sustainable woodland clearing in a city garden and is endorsed by the Environmental Change Institute, part of Oxford University. The focus will be on sustainable features including bio-diverse large trees, a water purifying wetland area, a green wall, and permeable surfaces.

Using primarily native planting, Andrew Duff’s design features roughly 1,000 perennial plants, underplanting 18 mature trees provided by the award-winning nursery, Majestic Trees. 30 square metres of woodland edge meadow turf will be interplanted with 10,000 bi-annual species, filling the remaining space. Key plants featured will include Carpinus betulus, Alnus glutinosa, Iris foetidissima, Smyrnium olusatrum, and Pilosella aurantiaca.

The Lady of the Lake

The stand out feature of the garden is a central pool of water which plays host to a sculptural installation. From a shadow of ‘leaves’ which flutter on the surface of the water, soars ‘Nyneve’, a 3.5 metre shard that reaches high into the trees. Designed and created by David Harber, the sculpture is inspired by the legend of the Lady of the Lake, representing something man-made coming out of serene nature.

This unique artwork pays homage to the natural calm of its environment. It mirrors the trees surrounding it and draws the viewer’s eye to the centre of this living, breathing space. On this installation, Harber says:

“[It] not only seeks to celebrate but improve the way we treat our surrounding environment – even in a city setting… Our piece supports the message of sustainability and mirrors the garden’s ethos, providing respite and calm in an urban environment. The design symbolises the physical and visual link between the elements earth, air and water; reaching skywards and connecting symbolically.”

And this is what David Harber is all about – making us reflect on the simple beauty around us while he elevates it to fantastical heights. All we can say is: shine on, David!

If you’d like to see more of David’s designs, visit his website at www.davidharber.com The RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs from 21st to the 25th May in London.