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Moncrieff Bray Gallery Near Petworth West Sussex 24 may to 20 June 2015.
Moncrieff Bray Gallery
EXHIBITION DATES: Sunday 24 May — Saturday 20 June 2015
PRIVATE VIEW: Sunday 24 May 2pm—8pm
The Moncrieff-Bray Gallery
This summer, the Moncrieff-Bray gallery presents its annual sculpture exhibition, with works displayed in the magnificent Sussex Barn and sculpture arranged across the surrounding three-acre rural gardens. A wide range of work will be on show; small scale sculpture in the gallery and in the garden, large scale works in stone, bronze, ceramic, steel and wood - many of which have been commissioned specially for the exhibition.
The exhibition coincides with the World famous Chelsea Flower Show. Like the Flower Show the sculpture on display is designed for the intimate setting of private gardens. The pieces catch your eye as you round a corner, or lead you into a distant vista. Pieces by established artists with work in major collections are shown alongside those of younger, emerging artists, chosen with a commitment to range and originality.
Key highlights for 2015 include Paul Vanstone’s monumental marble heads and Dominic Welch’s seductive abstract works carved in limestone. New additions to the gallery’s line-up include Penny Hardy’s graceful, willowy figures and Clare Trenchard’s humorous figures of acrobatic hares. Returning to the gallery are Dave Cooke’s lifesize toucans and owls. Clare Tupman’s stainless steel sculptures, animals and figures caught in extremity of movement and Jilly Sutton’s sensitive, pondering faces which add a contemplative note, while Simon Hemsell's symplified linear sculptures edge into the landscape.
The works have been gathered from a wide geographical area of the British Isles and play with a range of influences and visual connections, with nods to the greats of modern outdoor sculpture, from Barbara Hepworth to Ian Hamilton-Finlay.
A wander around the exhibition is a delightful experience in itself. The show is a celebration of the artistic possibilities that occur outside the white walls of a traditional, interior gallery space, sculpture in relation to the elements, in all lights and weathers: the garden transformed as gallery.
THE MONCRIEFF-BRAY GALLERY
Based in a group of 18th-century former farm buildings on the edge of the Petworth estate, the gallery holds regular exhibitions of contemporary art and sculpture. A spectacular oak framed barn houses the interior gallery space, and the surrounding landscaped gardens are an ideal setting for domestic sculpture. The gallery is committed to showing artists who are not widely represented elsewhere, and to providing encouragement and mentoring to help them establish a commercial following. Artists whose careers the gallery has helped to promote include New Yorker Tim Kent , Pippa Blake, Lucy Powell, Felicity Fletcher and Jilly Sutton. Just over an hour’s drive from central London, the gallery is located in the heart of the South Downs National Park, enjoying spectacular views over the Rother Valley and up to the South Downs.
ELSPETH MONCRIEFF, DIRECTOR
Former curator and arts writer Elspeth Moncrieff set up the Moncrieff-Bray Gallery in 2005. An experienced curator, she has worked for the V&A, and as a former art market correspondent for The Art Newspaper and Deputy Editor of Apollo magazine, she applies her experience of the international art world to her South Downs gallery.
OPENING HOURS Open Daily: 11 pm to 4pm Closed Sundays
LIST OF EXHIBITING ARTISTS
Adam Binder, Sadie Brockbank, Peter Cooke, Mo Farquson, Olivia Ferrier, Felicia Fletcher, Penny Hardy, Simon Hemsell, David Klein, Will Spankie, Jilly Sutton, Clare Tupman, Clare Trenchard, Lucy Unwin, Paul Vanstone, Emma Walker, Dominic Welsh
Closed Sundays but we welcome visitors by appointment at any time.
Exhibition Programme 2013
March 14th to 17th
Moncrieff-Bray Gallery at Charlton Manor House, Charlton
Nr Shaftesbury, Dorset SP7 OEW
Paintings, ceramics and Animal Bronzes
May 9th to May 12th
20/21 Century International Art Fair at the Royal College of Art, Kensington, London
May 18th to June 22nd
Annual Mixed Exhibition of Paintings, Ceramics and Garden Sculpture
21st September to 5th October
Three Sussex Artists : Tuema Pattie, Lucy Powell, Sandra Whitmore
21st November to 1st December
Artists in the exhibition will include:
New to the gallery
David Humphreys Madeline Mackay
Ostenelli and Priest Stephen Palmer
Deborah Gourlay John Hitchens
Bridget Lansley Carol Peace
Following a degree in ceramics at Bournemouth College of Art in 1968, Diana worked for the potters David Leach and Mary Rich. Her work is much inspired by the coastline of West Cornwall, its gardens, rivers, rock pools and beaches. Her distinctive totems reflect this environment and are designed to withstand the elements. The natural patterns of stones and pebbles are the basis of much of her decoration applied in broad free strokes. The reappearance of the Red-Beaked Chough in Cornwall in recent years has been a major inspiration in her work.
Ben developed his passion for sculpture whilst studying it at Bristol Polytechnic in the early nineties. He has been creating sculpture ever since and his work can be seen in a variety of national and international locations. His pieces combine the beauty of sculpture with the functionality of seating. He creates dynamic, fluid forms influenced by the rhythmic movements of the sea and the dramatic landscape of the Cornish coast. Brought up the by sea, he would watch shapes thrown by the Atlantic Ocean as waves rolled up, sea creatures cut through its waters and yachts sailed across its horizon. The natural ergonomic shapes created by nature are translated into sculptural seats which are robustly constructed yet appear to almost float in their designated space. Ben also creates large scale bespoke sculptures. Notable commissions include the The Four Seasons Hotels and a Shanghai Skyscraper for which he created his largest sculpture to date, standing at six metres tall. His seductively curved Crescent Bench is created from marble composite cantilevered from a stainless steel leg. The Fin Back is reminiscent of a sleek ship in sail.
Born in 1970, Adam Binder grew up on a farm in the Cotswolds where he still lives today. His childhood experiences of the natural world have provided a sustaining inspiration for his work as a wildlife sculptor. Having attended a foundation course at Cheltenham Art School, he travelled extensively in Africa drawing and studying wildlife. In 2010, he won the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year Award with his polar bear sculpture, Sinking Feeling, and the edition of 12 sold out within the year.
‘For me, nature and sculpture are the perfect marriage. I see repetition in form, line, mass and detail throughout the natural world, sculpted over time but in perfect harmony.’
Richard Bray is a Cambridge based sculptor who works mainly in wood. His work relies on illusions of visual perception, the rhythms and systems he uses provoking questions as to the volume, position, perspective and structure of the piece. His work invites and stimulates dialogue between the natural and the imposed form.
‘I like the way that you can create movement with a static object. The rhythm created by the interference of pattern of the gaps of light visible through the cuts. The way the natural grain of wood continues through the imposed systems.’
Richard works to commission for both public and private clients and has recently commissioned a major work for the Wellcome Trust, as well as pieces for Jesus College and Lucy Cavendish College.
Born in Jersey, Dick Budden attended Bournemouth College of Art and began freelancing at BBC Television Centre in the ’60s where he was required to make anything from ‘props’ to complete sets. He has been associated with hundreds of projects from Star Wars and Superman to Monty Python and Morecome and Wise. A hugely inventive artist, he is able to work in steel, wood, plastics and stone, preferring to carve his own sculptures from wood: ‘Carving is my joy.’ Several of his wood carvings are available cast in bronze. He assisted the late Kenneth Armitage CBE, RA on several commissions, enlarging from his maquettes to create three huge public sculptures in bronze. His giant fruit pieces are all unique, carved from expanded polystrene and finished in fibre glass with iron powder and resin to create a rusty finish. He is happy to take commissions for any project that requires a sculptural solution.
Catherine works both as a sculptor and a painter. She studied Sculpture at Central St. Martins before becoming the student of the French sculptor, Jean Touret, who did the altar piece in Notre Dame. Over the last two decades she has periodically worked in Jean’s studio in the Loire. At present she is finishing her PhD at the University of the Arts London on Poiesis and Obstruction, specializing in painting. Her work is concerned with the emergence of images on the surface, influenced by archaeology and philosophically preoccupied with the concept of Poiesis – that is the process of making and the creation of beauty from the immaterial.
David has been a professional wildlife artist since graduating from Leeds University in 1992 with a degree in 3D Design. He grew up in East Anglia with ready access to clay thanks to his mother Rosemarie Cooke, who is also a ceramic sculptor. His real love is animal subjects. He manages to extract their salient features and his work is often imbued with a sense of humour. Domestic animals hold little appeal for him and he prefers to tackle more adventurous subjects such as crabs, dinosaurs and gorillas, and in particular reptiles and exotic birds. David is a selected member of Anglian Potters where he gives workshops and has exhibited in prestigious venues throughout the UK.
Helen Denerley studied at Aberdeen Art School and lives on a remote farm in Aberdeenshire, surrounded by wildlife. Her imaginative animals are beautifully crafted from discarded scrap metal using pre-existing shapes and forms. She draws prolifically then creates her animals from her enormous scrap heap of redundant agricultural machinery, tools and old motor bikes, which find a new life in her lithe and expressive creatures. Her work ranges from delicately observed birds and insects to the monumental 24ft giant giraffes in Edinburgh. Helen’s work is now widely recognized, resulting in world-wide commissions from Japan to Canada. She has an extraordinary skill, born from her sense of draughtsmanship and observation, creating these graceful creatures from the discarded flotsam of our age.
Annie came to sculpture late in life after thirty years as an interior designer. Along with Jane Churchill, she presented ITV’s Finishing Touches, one of the first interior design programs to be filmed in the UK and America. Having studied at the Sculpture Academy in London for four years, Annie now works from her studio in Devon. She produces a wide range of figurative and abstract sculptures, paintings and drawings, many created with organic materials. She is an accomplished portrait sculptress and has recently completed portrait commissions of Bernard Levin, David Moorhouse, the outgoing chairman of Lloyds Register, and Sammy Ofer, whose bust is on display in the new wing of the National Maritime Museum. Recent exhibitions include Ashcombe Art in Devon, South West Academy of Fine and Applied Arts in the Goss Gallery in Exeter, Chelsea Art Society in Chelsea Town Hall and the South West Academy of Sculptors Exhibition in Dartingdon this July. She is a member of the Chelsea Arts Society and the South West Sculptors Association and an Academician of the South West Academy of Fine and Applied Arts.
Leonie Gibbs has lived most of her life in Scotland; myths, legends and her love of wild animals have been the most formative influences on her work. With her strong sense of modelling and dynamic movement, her figures inhabit an imaginative world of storytelling and action played out against the wild romantic landscape of her Scottish roots. The Warrior King depicts James IV of Scotland, moments before his death. Her Pictish Queen strides like a princess out of the dark ages, born from the myths of ancient lands. Leonie drew part of the inspiration for this figure from the mounted queen with her exotic head dress depicted on the ancient Pictish Cadboll stone near her home. Leonie has exhibited widely in Scotland and England, and her major commissions include pieces for Gleneagles Hotel, the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Tarbat Discovery Centre.
Wendy graduated with a BA Honours in Fine Art from Reading in 1967, having specialised in Sculpture. She taught Art before setting up a ceramic workshop in 1989, producing large, one-off pots – a feature for garden, conservatory, domestic and commercial interiors. Wendy is a professional member of The Craft Potters Association and her work is in many international collections. Her pots are not functional but are related to vessel forms. Each pot is ‘a big adventure in form and texture’.
Inspiration comes from the natural world, including nutshells, seed cases, berries on stalks and the curve of landscape and the human body. Wendy has looked to Greece, Africa, South America and many contemporary potters for inspiration.
Willow Legge graduated from Chelsea Art School and has spent most of her career as a professional portrait sculptor. Her interests expanded to art therapy and this she practiced for ten years in a psychiatric hospital. For many years, she used her portrait skills at the Tussauds studio. Parallel with her portraits, however, Willow created a very personal group of works. In contradiction to her professional persona, these concentrated on the inner, essential character of a subject, the life that is inside rather than the outward appearance. Much of her work is autobiographical, reflecting her preoccupations and concerns at the time. Connected to this is her interest in wildlife, again, it is the lines and rhythms, the essential shapes she looks for, carving a swan or a duck she plays with its mass and volume, ignoring the external details and concentrating on the simplicity of its shape and form. She is a member of the Society of Portrait Sculptors and has exhibited at the Royal Academy and the National Portrait Gallery in a touring exhibition of self-portraits by women artists.
Chris trained at Wrecclesham Pottery near Farnham, Surrey and now works at South Heighton pottery, near Newhaven, established by Ursula Mommens in the 1950s. He spent 1978 travelling in West Africa, studying traditional pottery making techniques and this, as well as an interest in tribal art and archaeology, has influenced much of his work. He still travels frequently to Africa, Asia and America seeking out fellow potters. All the work is fired to between 1300-1350°C in a large single chamber ‘anagama’ type kiln, built in the Spring of 2000. His unique firing process leads to the richness, depth of colour and textural variety evident on the surface of the finished work. He has exhibited widely in the UK and Europe and his large scale pieces, crossing the boundaries between architecture and pottery, have been selected for international design projects.
Jonathan Loxley studied at Epsom School of Art before continuing his studies in Florence. His geometric, carved stone pieces have an ethereal, timeless beauty in the perfection of their smoothly polished forms. For him, the uncarved stone bears no predefined shape; his carvings come from his inner self.
Talking of his work he describes the raw stone as, ‘a mirror that carves its shape and meaning from my own void’.
He sees sculpture as a language to convey something of the mysteriousness of the hidden world a glimpse of the completeness of an eternal truth. His triangular piece uses the number three, the simplest way to create eternity and reflect his preoccupation with imposing some form of order on the randomness of nature, as does his use of doors or window frames. His cloud piece, inspired by a satellite image of a cloud vortex, is reduced to some form of order by its rectangular framing shape. Jonathan has exhibited widely and his commissions include pieces for David Bowie and Lord Carrington.
Born in Prague, Anita Mandl is a trained zoologist who was on the teaching/research staff of the Medical School, University of Birmingham, until l965 (gaining a Ph.D. and D.Sc). During this period, she attended evening classes in sculpture at the Birmingham College of Art. Animals are her natural choice of subject and her interest lies in depicting them in a pared down, simplified form. Brancusi has been the biggest influence on her work. The pieces are reduced to semi-abstract form but retain a marvellous sense of characterisation. There is often an underlying sense of humour in the choice of animals – her baboons and guerrillas can have an uncanny resemblance to humans. Mandl is a carver, working in alabaster, soap stone and marble. The animal is dictated by the shape of the piece of stone and her pieces are cast as bronzes from the original carvings at the Pangolin foundry near Gloucester. The artist has shown widely in London and the regions, including the Royal Academy, London; and the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors and a member of the Royal West of England Academy.
Ruth gained a BA in Fine Art in 2000 and an MA in Art as Environment from Manchester University. She has had numerous high profile commissions and exhibitions, including the Chelsea Flower Show and Fresh Air at Quenington in Gloucestershire. She produces highly original metal and glass sculptures which are inspired by the plant kingdom. The intricate forms she creates emphasise the contrast between the apparent fragility of an individual plant and its ability to sustain its existence through an ongoing lifecycle. Her more recent work has studied the relationships within nature between insects and flowers and how they co-exist to ensure each others’ continual survival. Her sculptures are predominately made from metal and often incorporate colour and different finishes to add texture and contrast to the work. She uses glass and acrylic to enhance the designs.
Pete Moorhouse studied Sculpture at Bristol School of Art and Design. He has exhibited widely, undertaken major commissions and leads sculpture workshops in schools. He is currently working on a new body of work exploring external landscapes, funded by the Arts Council. Pete specialises in creating high quality sculpture for the outdoor environment and undertakes public and private commissions. His personal inspiration comes from observing details and connections in the visual world, ranging from the molecular shapes of proteins to ephemeral images in the natural world. The sculptures have strong visual impact and share a similar minimal aesthetic, having clean lines. They pay particular attention to form and space. Made from various types of steel they are highly durable outdoors.
Nicolas Moreton studied at Northampton College of Art and Wolverhampton Polytechnic. He has been working as a stone carver for over 25 years and enjoys the versatility of British stone, working mainly in Ancaster Weatherbed limestone from Lincolnshire, which allows full expression to his hand carved chisel marks. He exploits the colour and texture of stone whether rough-hewn or polished smooth, his work conveys an essence of the labour and energy that have gone into its creation. He is inspired by growth and fertility themes, subjects which reach far back into the most ancient preoccupations of European civilisation. He is a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors and won the National Sculpture Prize at the Bluecoat Gallery in Liverpool, in 2010. Major commissions include work for Rock International Bank in Mayfair and four sculptures for Northampton Central Museum.
Claire studied Sculpture at Chelsea School of Art in the seventies and since then has concentrated on stone carving. Her recent work conveys a strong sense of movement and fluidity, with dynamic forms emerging out of the solid rock. Her work appears both solid and precarious, at the same time suggesting the opposing dynamics of balance and stability, fragility and strength. She has exhibited extensively in London and the South East and worked on a number of commissions for private and public spaces. She exhibits regularly with the Surrey Sculpture Society and has been a part-time tutor in Adult and Community Learning for 22 years.
‘Much of my work is inspired by the innate forms contained in the materials, allowing the sculptures to emerge and develop throughout the carving.’
Rosie Musgrave was apprenticed variously with sculptors, and studied figurative sculpture in clay, wood and stone at John Cass and City and Guilds Art Schools in London. Her practice as a somatic therapist, together with an earlier training as a physiotherapist and work in related care fields, have helped inform her work.
‘I work with an ancient and beautiful material whose qualities certainly challenge and enrich my experience of making sculpture. Much of the stone I carve is over 140 million years old, laid down in the Jurassic age. Stone holds for me a sense of stillness and presence. I often work in limestone, marble and alabaster that will work to a sensual and textural finish. The sculptures I carve invite touch and often express a sense of symmetry that doesn’t seek to challenge but rather to reassure. I am conscious of being part of an ancient tradition of stone-carvers and draw inspiration from this rich heritage as well as from the world that I find around me; the natural forms in nature, the vulnerability of our human condition, from myth and archetype.’
She is an Associate member of The Royal British Society of Sculptors and a winner of the South West Academy Open Competition.
Carol Peace studied at Winchester School of Art and the Prince of Wales’s Drawing School. She has obtained numerous commissions, both public and private, and solo shows in London, Athens, Zurich, France, Spain and Holland. In 2007 she co-founded the Bristol Drawing School and is currently the artistic director there. She is a sculptor who could not work without drawing. The process of drawing, that intuitive response, is what she aims for in her work. While some of the sculptures are layered with meaning, a direct and honest response is often present. She sculpts in clay which, like charcoal, is quick to make marks with, once finished it is cast into resin or bronze when those fluid marks of the making are then fixed. Her figures inhabit an inner world of self-reflection. While she derives her knowledge of the human body from her detailed life drawings, the figures come from her imagination, reaching beyond mere depiction. With their delicately balanced forms and rock like plinths, the large-scale works relate to forms and volumes found in the landscape, their often elongated limbs and strange proportions lending them a surreal air.
Janis Ridley studied at Exeter College of Art and was elected a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors in 2002. Her beautifully modelled figures contain a metaphorical significance. While very human, they also have a contemplative quality of timelessness balanced between the inner and outer world. Influenced by Henry Moore, Giacometti and Elizabeth Frink, her figures can be either calm and static or expressive of extreme movement, reflecting her interest in dance. Ridley’s major commissions include her Mother and Child sculpture, Unfolding Love in Exeter Cathedral, and she has exhibited widely throughout the UK.
Mike Savage studied at Camberwell School of Art before studying silver smithing at the Royal College of Art. He teaches widely, including students at Camberwell and West Dean College in Sussex. Savage exploits the malleable qualities of copper and aluminium where he uses the weld lines to cut and describe the form of his sculpture. The process of hammering and the conducted heat of the welding create the patina, colour and texture of the metal. Simple fish forms illustrate his skill at folding metal to create the natural effect of moving fish. On a much larger scale he designs complex garden sculptures of organic forms based on plants and their seeds. Mike has exhibited widely and completed numerous commissions, including works for Sir Terence Conran. His work is in the Crafts Council Collection.
Will Spankie studied at Sir John Cass, Central St Martin’s and Goldsmiths College. He trained as an art therapist and has an MA in Social Work. He undertakes public and private commissions for sculpture, garden ornament and lettering. He works in the tradition of artist makers, carving original pieces either to commission or for exhibition. The ideas behind his sculptural work are often influenced by organic forms, material and the environment, as well as geometric structures, patterns, symmetry and proportion, found both in nature and the unfolding of numbers in space. Other pieces have an historical element to them. He works predominantly in stone and wood because they are durable, lovely to carve and have their own innate beauty. Will teaches stone carving and letter cutting courses on a private basis in schools, prisons and through local adult education colleges. He has exhibited widely and executed numerous public and private commissions.
South African born Rosie Sturgis studied in Capetown and at the Sir John Cass School in London. She divides her time between London and South Africa and specialises in wildlife sculpture. These works are not just literally observed, but born from a familiarity of seeing them on a daily basis. Her sense of humour and feeling for natural life underlie her observation as she captures the humorous antics of meerkats, the magnificent bulk of a bison or the grace of a flock of egrets. She has exhibited widely and to great acclaim in both South Africa and the UK.
Jilly Sutton studied at Exeter College of Art and is well known for her large wood carvings, mainly heads and figures formed from a single tree trunk. The works displayed here are limited edition castings taken from the original carvings and are suitable for display outdoors. Her portrait of the Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, is now in the National Portrait Gallery. Among her many other commissions are works for the Museum of Liverpool Life and the Royal Institute of British Architects. Wood is a living breathing medium and Jilly’s work reflects an intimate knowledge of its properties and limitations, her carvings exploit the natural forms and contours of the medium. The force behind her work comes from the tranquillity of her surroundings. Her house and studio are on the banks of the Dart Estuary where the calmness and order of the river continually influences the peacefulness of her sculptures.
Nicola Toms grew up on a cattle ranch in Zimbabwe where her nearest neighbours lived ten miles away. She spent her childhood surrounded by both game and cattle and was constantly at her father’s side as he drove around the family ranch. She studied graphic art in Harare and then moved permanently to London in 1993. The biggest influence on her work are the French animalier sculptors and in particular Rembrandt Bugatti. In her work she aims to create convincing form through her understanding of anatomy and at the same time portray the subtle characterisation of the animals through her sensitive observation of detail.
Some of her work also has an underlying sense of humour, ‘a trotting sow’s undulating folds of flesh jostling in tandem; baby elephants fearless and playfully imitating mock charges.’
‘That youthful desire to play and experiment reminds me of how closely linked we all are on this small planet’ explained Toms.
She has had numerous solo exhibitions in London and the Provinces and undertaken many private commissions. Works on view to the public include a life-size bull at Cranborne Manor in Dorset and crocodiles perched on lanterns outside Home House, a private members club on Portman Square in London’s West End.
Clare Tupman studied Fine Art at The Ruskin School of Drawing and St Martins but came to sculpture after years of couture dressmaking and ceramics. Starting with small pieces in bronze, she realised she wanted to create big sculptures so began to experiment with welding and stainless steel. Her aim is to create figurative work using sheets of steel. She now often uses a mixture of bronze and stainless steel to create unusual sculptures of people and animals. She has exhibited in London and Edinburgh and at the Hackwood Art Festival where she won the AA award for the best piece in the show.
Anthony Turner was apprenticed to the sculptor Peter Randall Page for four years and his time there together with influences from a childhood in East Africa have been the most formative influences on his work. He has travelled extensively through the great stone carving civilizations of the Celts, Egypt, the Inca countries and India, absorbing different aspects of these cultures to inform his own fascination with the subtle meanings held in line and form.
His work is inspired by his ‘appreciation of the sheer generosity of earth’s benign and mysterious gifts. All we know to be sensitive, living, rare and sustaining in fragile balance. Awed beyond words, I try to celebrate and make sacrosanct these simple fruits and humble vegetables, chipping them into new stubborn longevity in stone. I feel compelled to search out the potent essence of each and to give them a renewed grandeur.’
Lucy Unwin studied Fine Art Sculpture at Winchester School of Art graduating in 2006. Since graduation she has continued to develop her work in both metal and stone. She is now working in a studio in the Cotswolds countryside. The inspiration for her work derives from natural forms, be it organic shapes found in nature or the human figure. Her steel work concentrates on the human form often portraying its physical power when it is pushed to extreme levels of exertion and flexibility, sometimes representing her own experiences within sport. When working with stone she uses the natural shape of the material for guidance before releasing the form within. The physical process of working, which is often very demanding, is important to her; by combining physical and mental energy she is able to create the desired outcome.
Paul Vanstone studied at Central St Martins and the Royal College of Art; he is fascinated by the material properties of his medium and has abandoned modelling to work directly as a carver. Hunting down the right materials, whether from Spain, Italy or Portugal, is part of his creative process and he loves exploring the physical properties of stones such as lustrous Iranian Onyx and deep green Rajasthan marble. The colour and veining of the pieces are part of the language of the finished form. Other work is executed in Thassos marble associated with the purity of ancient Greek sculpture. In his drapery studies he plays with formal qualities, pattern across a volume, the contrast between the hardness and coldness of the medium and the warm soft cloth. His simplified torso forms have a delicate flow and balance and yet retain the rawness and power of the original block of marble quarried from earth. Vanstone has shown his work at a number of major galleries in London, as well as galleries and sculpture gardens throughout the UK. He has gained many prestigious awards and commissions, among them being the Henry Moore Award, and Lord and Lady Carrington’s Sculpture Garden commission.
Cara took a BA in Fine Art at Coventry University and went on to study Metalwork and Design at Hereford College. She teaches in various schools and workshops and has exhibited extensively in the UK. She makes her sculptures in a barn at the foot of the South Downs in West Sussex. For inspiration, she draws on the simple beauty and random patterns contained in natural forms. Often one element of a form is the starting point for a larger piece of work. She uses techniques learnt both from a formal education in art and design and through working with artists and blacksmiths in America, Germany and England.
Dominic Welch left school and became apprenticed to the sculptor Peter Randall Page, for whom he worked with for a decade. Randall Page has been the formative influence on his work. The smooth surface of Kilkenny Limestone is the preferred medium for his fluid abstract forms with their curvilinear incisions. Many of his carved pod and sphere forms suggest seeds or embryos with the promise of future growth. They reflect the natural harmonies found within nature but leave much to the imagination of the viewer. He has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad over the past 15 years to increasing success and acclaim.
Neil Wilkin is one of Britain’s foremost glass makers. Recently returned from Australia’s west coast, he is currently making small and large-scale glass art for interiors and garden projects – residential, commercial and exhibitions. After working for Dartington Crystal as a specialist glass maker he set up his own workshop in Somerset, employing up to 16 people. His work is found in public and private collections and exhibited throughout the UK, Europe, USA, Asia and Western Australia. With an exceptional eye for detail, meticulous finish and a talent for enhancing the visual impact of any space he continues developing extremely exciting and unrivalled designs.
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