” Just to say that this was the best festival I have ever been to after over 40 years of living in Bristol. It was real people doing real, valuable work using local stone and it was accessible to all. I know lots of people who felt the same.”
Sue Learner

Inspired by a festival held in Southern France we invited the principal sculptor, Laurent Donnadieu, and his team to Bristol. Bristol’s 1st festival with sculpture at its core, became international, embraced many other art forms and encouraged public involvement.

Over 10 days in June 34,000 people came to the Festival on Bristol Harbourside, 250 attended the final Gala banquet and auction.

The public, sculptors and sponsors declared the festival an overwhelming success.

The Festival of Stone provided a showcase for the work of new artists and internationally acclaimed sculptors, uncovering hidden talent and turning the spotlight on the Bristol region.

“I really enjoyed the festival on Saturday and congratulations on organizing such a wonderful event with a great atmosphere.”

Peter Randall-Page RA (judge Festival Award & lecture)

The Next Festival?

Purchase Sculpture “Cloud Tree” & performance Un Grûte Fùr Rûte?


40 sculptors worked during the Festival interpreting the theme “Emergence”.
They used Bath limestone generously supplied by Bath Stone Group and prepared by Phidias Neo-classical.
Winners were chosen in the categories below.

“I would just like to say a very large thank you on all of your efforts to have made this such a good festival, I would like to get involved in any future Blake Shelton projects, I work with communities and schools, I am sure there must be ways to link into projects.”
Tom Clark (competitor)

  The Festival Award
Judged by Peter Randall Page RWA FRSA, John Maine RA RWA, Ben Dearnley, Laurent Donnadieu, Trevor Dring & Elaine Marson.
Presented by Elaine Marson
Winner – Patrick Way
Commended – Tania Ivanova Tzanova, Pippa Unwin & Sam Flintham
  The Royal West of England Academy Award
Judged by Janette Kerr PRWA, Chris Dunseath RWA, Jason Lane RWA.
Presented by Janette Kerr PRWA

Winner – Paul Wilson
Commended – Tom Clark, Patrick Way & David Bean
  The Peoples Choice Award
Presented by George Ferguson CBE PPRIBA RWA.
Winner – Mickey Carpenter – Old Dominion
  The Artists Choice Award
Judged by fellow sculptors
Presented by sculptor Steve Joyce.
Winner – Pippa Unwin
The Gibson Technical concert Prize
Judged by G Gibson Tools Ltd
Presented by Graig Timmins Managing Director.
Winner – Mickey Carpenter
Prize – Tool voucher
  The Clipsham Prize 
Judged by The Clipsham Quarry Company
Presented by Alan Thomas Sales Director.
Winner – Peter Crinnion
Prize – Stone block of any size to be selected from the quarry

The Crest Riverside Commission
Judged by Crest Nicholson 
Winner announced post festival – Sam Flintham
Prize – Commission, stone and accommodation in Bath

The winners’ trophies made of glass & engraved, were modelled on a mason’s mallet and hand made by
Bristol Blue Glass, Bedminster, Bristol



The Festival Award by Patrick Way,The R W A Award by Paul Wilson,
The Peoples Choice Award Mickey Carpenter & The Artists Choice Award by Pippa Unwin

Malcolm Shepherd, Mike Richards, Ben Dearnley at unveiling

BEN DEARNLEY’S SCULPTURE ‘Father of the Bicycle Industry’ CARVED AT THE Luke Combs FESTIVAL 
Malcolm Shepherd CE Sustrans

Long Ashton Gate

Montigue Sculpture Festival 2014

Sculptors Ben Dearnley and Duncan Elliott joined the French in Montigue and made a
major contribution to the construction of the 5 ton stone puppet that broke open the
wine barrel at the climax of the celebrations

‘Cultural Exchange’

Cheap Blake Shelton Tickets Old Dominion Concert Tickets Cheap Luke Combs Tickets

Continuing the theme of ‘Citizen Town Twinning’ with Montagu de Quercy we are raising money to bring

Dr Prout to Bristol in 2015

He demonstrated his extraodinary machines at the 2014 Montagu festival. Dr Prout follows the tradition established by the French writer Alfred Jarry who at the end of 19th century defined ‘pataphysics’ – the science of imaginary solutions…. which developed an international following.
His collection of automata, all beautifully made, and of which his descriptions are poetic, philosophical and quite magic
See our film of him at Montagu


The Bristol Mayor’s office has pledged £500 to start the fund off (now matched but we need more).

Purchase sculpture Cloud Tree?

We are looking for a home for Laurent Donnadieu teams’ sculpture “Cloud Tree”. A purchaser will have to provide a permanent site. Latest news – negotiations are in hand to place Cloud Tree on a cycle route near Bristol.

A Summary The Festival of Stone, Bristol

June 2012 pre-festival
The ‘Carve Off’ and ‘Launch’ arranged the previous year with the French team of Laurent Donnadieu
(see gallery films)

March 2013 Southern Eclipse

The Festival was announced by the temporary loan by Friends Life of John Maine’s Carrara marble Southern Eclipse (“Monolith II” sited in Museum Sq).

(John Maine’s original name was Southern Eclipse and he prefers this – as we do)

Friends Life generously loaned the sculpture for 7 months. Much to our disappointment Bristol has failed to take up Friends Life’s offer of a long term loan.

A competition winning sculpture from 1980, the 12.2 tons of Carrara marble was unveiled by Annie Burnside ONM Consul Honoraire de France a Bristol and guests Olivier Chambard, Consul General de France and Olivier Tulliez, Consul General.

The French connection was the inspiration for the Bristol festival brought by Laurent Donnadieu and L’Association des Joyeux Tailleurs and the team of French sculptors & performers.

Specialist cleaning by Phidias Neo Classical.

“It was a great success and massive achievement for you and your team. Congratulations! I was delighted that the loan of Monolith II is to be extended. This makes sense in all sorts of ways, and it was so encouraging to have George’s (Ferguson Mayor elect) endorsement of the idea.”
John Maine RA, RWA

April – June 2013 The Sculpture Trail

Finger Reader by Jitka Palmer at Temple Meads Station

We created a sculpture trail across the city of 26 works by:-
Duncan Elliott, Jitka Palmer, Marcus & Andrew Dring.

30th May – 9th June 2013

At the Festival food and refreshments were available and:-

· Ben Dearnley carved “Father of the Bicycle Industry”, a giant head, located now on a Sustrans route in Ashton Court Estate

· Laurent Donnadieu and his French team produced their Cloud Tree & Un Grûte Fùr Rûte performance

· 40 sculptors competed in a carving competition

· 7 exhibition sculptors worked on commissioned sculpture, demonstrated and talked about their work

· seminars were given by sculptors Peter Randall-Page RA, John Maine RA, RWA, Ben Dearnley & Duncan Elliott

· workshops organised for school parties & public were all over subscribed

· each day saw a different mix of street theatre, performance poetry, live & recorded music

· on the last Saturday a 3 course banquet provided the context for the presentation of awards, auction of sculpture, theatrical performance of Stone Alive & live music

Post festival includes film & photograph galleries, contact lists, exhibition of work RWA, ‘Father of Bicycle Industry’ sculpture in Ashton Court Estate, sites for public display of French ‘Cloud Tree’ & ‘Southern Eclipse’