Sculpture at Farleys House & Gallery

Various artists, until October

Fancy following in the footsteps of Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, Saul Steinberg, Man Ray and Joan Miro?

Photographer Lee Miller and her surrealist painter husband Roland Penrose set up house at Farleys House, Chiddingly, in 1949, and subsequently invited an array of Modernist friends to stay over.

Their son Antony Penrose, who has dedicated his life to resurrecting his parents’ prestige, has turned the house and its gardens and farmland into a museum/gallery celebrating its artistic significance, and his parents’ significant legacy.

ROSA paid a visit the other week and we could have stayed all day. We skipped the guided tour around the house (full of artworks by its previous owners and their friends) as we’d already done it a few years back, and we only had a couple of hours to spare.

Much of our visit was spent wandering round the five-acre gardens, dotted with sculptures old and new, either commissioned by Lee and Roland, or by the present team of curators. Highlights include Michael Werner’s Fallen Giant, Julian Wild’s Salvia Corrupted and Peter Brooke Ball’s bondage boulders, including Safety at Last (materials: Portland limestone, rope and walnut tree).

And there are now two galleries to explore. In the converted barn, the Lee Miller Gallery, there’s an extensive show – Surrealist Weekends: Farleys in the Fifties – of Miller’s photos of her artist-friend visitors, supposedly at work on the farm (Alfred H Barr feeding the pigs etc). In the Farley Gallery, there’s an exhibition of Queer documentary photographer Henri T, and a fascinating look at Roland Penrose’s involvement in the development of camouflage in WW2.

Afterwards, we recommend a visit to the nearby Six Bells. Was Picasso really denied a pint here on his 1950 visit, because he wanted to pay for it with a sketch, rather than cash? Find out more in our Autumn print magazine.

The house and gardens are open Thursdays and Sundays, from 10am, until October. Guided tours run from 10.30am to 3.30pm.