Deities at the Bottom of the Garden

In Deities at the Bottom of the Garden, artist Richard Bartle explores in minute detail the customs and icons of major world religions and belief systems.

Manifested in a series of 12 scale modelled garden sheds, Bartle’s work reduces the usually grand architecture of churches and temples into more private spaces of worship. Viewers are invited to make their own minds up about the question of what it is to have faith, and the differences and similarities between differing belief systems.

Each sculpture has been extensively researched by Bartle through visiting places of worship and talking to people from the communities that use them, as well as researching religious, documentary and historical texts.

Each shed and its interior has been painstakingly hand crafted, wherever possible staying true to materials and respecting the sacred and ideological value of the objects and images appropriate to that belief.

The work explores the ideas of dedication and obsession, a global perspective of religion and politics, and our relationship with physical objects and architecture.

Richard Bartle is a Sheffield based artist who has exhibited widely in the UK and Europe, including a major solo exhibition in London in 1999, as well as recent projects in public galleries and international venues, including the Biennials in Mardin and Istanbul where he lived between 2008 and 2009. Richard has many works in both private and public collections, including Goldman Sachs Bank and One Aldwych Hotel, London.

Bartle says about his work:

“I have always sought to observe the fundamental driving forces behind society and its ideas of political, economic and philosophical progress.”


The hire fee is £1,000 per eight week period, plus travel and accommodation expenses for the artist to assist with installation, and includes:

  • One way transportation
  • Twelve scale model garden sheds (approximately L:30cm x W:20cm x H:30cm) and accompanying plinths. Each shed will require a power supply
  • Text panels and labels
  • A catalogue which will be available on a sale or return basis


If you would like further information about this exhibition, please contact Janine Parrish on 01724 297076 or email;

This project is supported through the National Lottery by a grant from Arts Council England.