Big summer, finally the two halves of the Colossus joined. The Yoxman is a step closer.
Here’s a little visual journey!
Meanwhile , this Dovecote at Hedingham Castle in Essex has played host to this figure in need of rest. It wasn’t eggs they farmed in these nest boxes.. It was the Squabs, young bald pigeons… collected daily for Squab Pie! Yum…
Big Day! another four year project concludes…
On saturday, October the 2nd. Doncaster plays host to marching bands and a banner procession, speeches and folk music to celebrate the unveiling of ‘A Rich Seam’ the tribute to Doncaster Miners i’ve just installed..Please make it if you can its going to be a great day. Starting at the Mansion House at 1pm.
A new book chronicalling the story of the Doncaster pits and the making of the sculpture will also launch.. I’ll sign it if you like!!!
Accompnying the opening, I have my first solo show at ‘Messums Yorkshire’ opening on the 1st October in Harrogate, see Messums Wiltshire website for more information.
Oh and talking of wonderfulbooks, This book accompanies a show i’m in in the St Barbe Museum, Lymington , Hampshire..the title of the book tells you what its all about, a great survey of all the great Post War british artists that have evolved this peculiarly english subject, Good writers and curators too..available at all good bookshops..Show continues until January 2022… check out their website for timings….
Big fan of Edward Burra, who happily features.. this painting is awe inspiring..
Hey…….Thankyou for spending the time!!! Its been emotional!!!!
I had the privilage of contributing to ‘Here’ the inaugural show at the ‘Art Station’, a new arts space for Suffolk, based at the old telephone exchange in Saxmundham
The curators gave me a room with a view. I gave myself 2000 feet of steel, an angle grinder and a mig welder. I locked the door..made a racket ,nearly burnt the place down had a ball for a week… here’s what went down!
I repurposed a wax bust which was hanging in my studio, and used an old drawing as reference..
Vertical lines were my way in .. so with a jar of ink, a brush and a step ladder I created the backdrop.
Amidst many other inspirational moments!
As if that wasn’t enough, we managed to finish the second 8ft Walking Man at the foundry.. the second of five, he’s going to the EA festival at Hedingham Castle at the end of July.
Meanwhile the ‘Yoxman’ The Colossus for Suffolk is getting there.. his torso is coming together.
Thats all folks… i’ll leave you with Freddy finishing a ‘Man of Stones’ which is now on show at the ‘Grange’ festival in Hampshire… remember the instagram page… its a nice compliment to this … @laurenceedwards.bronze
The second cast of the edition has returned from his travels and now sits atop a billiard table in a place called Potton Hall, nr Westelton, Suffolk… it’s part of the ‘Waveney Valley Sculpture trail’ which opened this weekend. It is open daily until June 27th.
It reminds me of a Stanley Kubrick film set, exposed and isolated. The splendid billiard light reveals a vulnerability. It’s good to be able to get up close, to see the surface detail and weathering I’d not seen for 5 years or more.
This is how close you get to him usually!
We boxed in the table , creating a platform far bigger than i’d normally make, which is rather dramatic.. The cues and score board are still on the wall, I measured up for a pot, leaving blue chalk marks on him, interesting.. give it a go if you’re there, i’ll count them up at the end…It’s well worth a visit.
Well I was asked to respond to the Norman history of Ebbsfleet, it was originally called Sweynes Camp and is purported to have been a Norman settlement.
The Sculpture’s called ‘Homecoming’ and is about a man who has been away from home, feeling he has been changed by stressful situations. He is returning home to a family and village that may also have changed. I’ve tried to make him tentative.
I loved developing this character, embellishing him, creating acoutrements, (a Norman word I’d wager!) using my old work overalls, aprons etc…
I read Paul Kingsnorths ‘The Wake’ trilogy as a part of the research. Set in 1067 in the Fens and written in what the author calls ‘Shadow tongue ‘ a simplified old English which serves to evoke perfectly the life of ‘Buccmaster of Holland’, whose family and life have been destroyed in the savage merciless invasion. The story follows his efforts to raise a partisan gang in the forests, plotting and picking off Norman soldiers as they impose impossible hardship on those Britons left alive.
Aswell as Kasuo Ishiguro’s ‘The Buried Giant’, also set in ancient Briton / Saxon England.. wonderful source material.
The sculpture will leave the courtyard at Tisbury for his new home in Ebbsfleet Kent, immediatly after the talk. So if you are tempted to go and see him, i’m afraid you’ll have to go in the next few days. Although Ebbsfleet by all accounts is very nice!
New Big Bronze:
The First 8ft Walking Man is finished!
I’ve been privately commissioned by a wonderful patron to realise a long held dream, to create a gang of 5, 8ft Walking Men.
We installed the first one this month, said patron wishes his privacy to be respected so there are no shots of him in situ, I do have a rather beautiful set of studio photographs though.
It will take me two years to complete the set, its rather a daunting undertaking..once the first set has been installed i’ll be casting a second to exhibit. The unveiling of the series will be at Messums Wiltshire next September, before they go on a museum tour of Australia with a show of other new large works in 2023.
The second one is being finished as we speak, you’ll have to wait untll next months blog to see him!!
The belly of the giant is being assembled, Eddy looks as though he’s enjoying himself! Hopefully the top half will be finished by the end of July and a crane will lift it onto the legs, in an exciting and rather fitting finale to a four year epic journey, oddyssey, slog…
Eva, Tom and Nhung, are detained in order to finish wax sticks for a very large ‘Loaded ‘ sculpture being cast, they are to be fixed to this torso .. which has a body and legs too.. Louis stands guard.
(I know this is hammy apologies )
Eva Terzoni is leaving us after years of wonderful and devoted service, she will be pursueing a sculptural career in her home town of Florence.. Putting to good use the skills she has mastered with us..
Quite why she’d leave the wonderful life I’ve created for her at the Fire Station is beyond me..
Good luck Eva and thankyou, we’ll miss your relentless laughter.
Oh and by the way..
I’ve just started Instagram.. a great compliment to the blog..
The ‘Thousand Tides’ sculpture has started to sink, its rather lovely, I reckon it will go quite fast now its started its journey. See it while you can.. Butley Creek, just up from the mill.
And Kim Wilkie the fantastic landscape designer who is doing a talk at Messums Wiltshire on the 28th of April, which I shall certainly be attending.. and indeed whose landscape the giant figure will eventually be placed in, took these wonderful photographs of my ‘Creek Men’ at Hevenigham Hall, another of his wonderful settings..
Hello… I have a new show opening at ‘Messums’ London next tuesday the 16th, and rather excitingly we cant have a party, so we’re having a zoom chat instead. Johnny Messum and I will walk around the show and discuss it… Hope you can make it, if not I’m sure it will be available to watch on the Messum’s Wiltshire website..
The work represents a new departure for me, made during the first lockdown. Plaster figures sliced up and reconstructed, who became my audience, companions even confidents!! through those lonely months.. Its a special show for me here’s the link to the free event.
And here for you delictation is a brief preview of the work, The plasters are being shown alongside the bronzes, on the same stands used in the studio, will be interesting to compare and contrast, especially now the plasters are repaired and glued together after fragmenting in the mouldmaking adding another layer to the experience.
They’re all around 60cms high…
Looking forward to seeing you there, tell all your friends!!!
Tadaaa….Finally after 4 years, here is Doncaster’s “A Rich Seam.” A tribute to Doncaster’s Mining community.’
Forty tonnes of York Stone arrived from Huddersfield, at the crack of dawn on Valentines day…but the crane didn’t!
So we unloaded the miner and placed him in the centre of the rather splendid Plinth.. and waited anxiously!
Like the seventh cavalry our lovely 100 tonne crane arrived at midday! Only 5 hours behind shedule. The first one had broken down, the second was too small.. so a ‘Mate’ with a crane in Leeds was asked to ‘do us a favour’… leaving an understandably irrate wife on a rather special morning!!
Our miner waited nervously as he was put into place the next day…
Reggie and George made sure the rocks sat safely, concreting, rather splendidly, between the cracks and crevices…
I did a great job at masking my confusion ‘Did I leave a box at home’??
Danny Heaton the man who took these photo’s was even co opted whilst I changed drill bits.
I’m not known for my perfectionism..
It all looks fantastic, better than I could of imagined.! In the quarry the rock looked aggresive and brutal.. but in the street it’s golden hues simmered and bounced off the buildings. It’s presence seemed to lend a sense of humanity to the street..
Whilst we were there the varieties of Yorkshire light showed themselves.
This was the sun at 3 o’clock!
The street is now being relaid with beautiful York stone slabs, lighting and seating. We are creating the information points which will guide the visitor to the forty films made to accompany each head, showing the modelling sessions and the testimony’s of each miner featured, a valuable archive set down for the future.. A big thankyou to camera shy Tom whose planning and forsight made it all happen on the day!!
The street opens at the beginning of April, so you’ll be able to visit then. We hope for a grand opening with brass bands and banners sometime this summer when the restrictions have hopefully lifted… watch this space, and thankyou for coming….
This month i’m taking you to a quarry in Yorkshire where we are carving niches for 40 miners portraits, for the public sculpture i’m making to celebrate Doncaster’s mining history.
To be installed next February.
Then you will see a Norman Soldier.. yes.. this one’s come out of the blue. A commission I recieved three years ago, (and had forgotten about) finally recieved its planning permission and suddenly a tight deadline presented itself.. alot of fun.. you’ll agree!!
Anyway enough of me.. lets go to the quarry…
‘Johnsons Wellfied’ in Huddersfield, where Freddy Morris my trusty stone carver and I stayed for ten days, cooking beautiful food (ready meals from the Co-op). Huddersfield is a truly beautiful Victorian town set on the edge of the Peak District in Yorkshire, I loved being there.. Here’s a photo Essay of the work done, black and whites by Bill Jackson, colour by me.
I think it’ll be a random set of photos, not in any particular order….
These are giant blocks of York stone, weighing about 25 tonnes each..
We drilled pilot holes first to establish where we were going to chisel..
At times it felt as if we were wandering through corridors of heads in ancient streets.
This stone recieves light so beautifully, I realised it would have been impossible to replocate this effect in any other material.
Excuse the armpit!
It became apparant early on that the heads should flow with the contours of the rock, they were set at different angles in harmony with the topography of the surfaces, bringing the viewing experience to life.
I decided to work with the scarring on the rocks, where the machinery had gashed and brutalized the surface..
This is John Davies, (above) who sadly succumbed to Covid this year, he is the first miner featured on the rocks to have passed away.
The blocks now sit and wait. A 6ft miner is being cast at the foundry and he will eventually stand between them in a newly refurbished street in Doncaster..
Next we have a 2mtre high Norman Soldier returning home to ‘Sweyns Camp’ in Ebbsfleet Kent, to a waiting family.
The sculpture is called the ‘Homecoming’ and has been commissioned to go on a site where once there was a Norman settlement, now a housing develpment.
I wanted there to be a certain anxiety as well as hope in his face and indeed, in the way he holds the ropes . I wanted to convey a man returning home after a long time away, having been through life changing experience. To a family that may also have changed.
His helmut hangs on his shield.. I love the shield, it was also a device I could use to express his emotional state, battered and scarred.
I loved hanging all the accoutrements on him, ambigous enough so the viewer could imagine what their purpose might be and what they may contain. Also making the tunic out of my old work overalls..
We start the casting after Christmas, and he’s due to be installed in April next year. If we are lucky we might be able to show him in Messum’s London space before he goes..
Well this is my opportunity to show the world what I made during Lockdown. I managed after a faultering start to get quite a bit done..
I suffered the anxiety of suddenly having a load of time with the business shut down. I couldn’t escape the feeling that in this ‘historic incredible time’ everything had to be brilliant, salient, relevant and about the now.. so after a series of works based on bog rolls and grabbing everything in the supermarket I gave up..
I Started work on studio repairs, plastering the walls putting shelves up painting, tiling you know the sort of thing.. then! There was plaster left over in buckets that had to be used, (Can’t stand waste) I started to fill random moulds around the studio with the excess..
After a few weeks I’d inadvertantly built up a collection of figure sculptures in plaster.. I remembered that i’d been intrigued by the scaling up process we used for the giant sculpture we are making, (see previous blogs) slicing up the plaster on the bandsaw. I thought i’d play with that.. so I started to slice up all the plasters i’d made on the bandsaw.
I soon had stacks of diced figures precariously balancing all over the place (and a rusty bandsaw!) I thought i’d amalgamate different figures, two or three at a time, pile them up to form stretched elongated figure forms.. I glued the first one up using plaster and was shocked by the strange stretched form i’d created.. During the following days I stacked and stuck figure after figure. Soon a crowd of figures populated the room (under the gaze of this torso i’d suspended from the ceiling a while back and had forgotten about), They all looked unnervingly in one direction, as though trying to work out a thing, a future, a strange place.
Every morning I entered the studio there they were querelously spying me, working me out, peering, leering looking over each others shoulders, through gaps, like a colony of Meerkat’s. Couples leaning together, mimicking each others poses, some holding hands, nervously comforting each other.
Half way through this I heard on the radio that the magnetic north pole had moved a few degrees from Alaska to Siberia.. all the navigational systems of the world had to re calibrate, this chimed perfectly with the leaning skewed figures I was making, standing as if on a tilting earth, compensating, trying to accomodate change.
I should shut up now and give you some pictures.. taken by Bill Jackson and Tim Bowden..
Here’s how the studio looked on entry every morning, greenery bursting through an open window, now impossible to shut!!
It was like a set from Midsummer nights dream.. no not midsummer murders!
I’ll slowly introduce you….
Here’s a couple of shots from guest photographer Claire Waddell!!
Ok here are some ‘Individual’s’ by Tim..
I have to say, I feel like they are friends, we’ve been through alot together..
Johnny from the gallery loved them too, so we are going to show them in the London space next spring.. we think we’ll show all the plasters in one room, set up as in the studio and then a load of them in bronze in the next room.. It will be very interesting to be able to compare and contrast.
Hi there.. welcome back.. the keen eyed, the mad and the enthusiastic amongst you, will have noticed my absence on the interweb. I Decided not to bore you with my ‘fantastic’ Lockdown exploits and concentrate on having them..
You won’t see them in this post either..no, instead you will be exposed to what was happening just as it all started and where we’ve got to since we opened up again at beginning of June…. the actual stuff I made during lockdown will be saved for you in the next post!!! Its very exciting I can tell you.
So we’ll start with the Biggestthing! The Colossus is coming together in bronze, after a myriad of structural difficulties, complicated welding exams and new cranes installations, we’ve finally got to the fun bit..Well Tom has..
Here he is …
Welding the feet together..
Here’s Tom showing new ‘Expert guy’ Eddy Triplow the ropes!
Eddy is getting the hang of it.. He’s a real nice guy ‘Nice guy Eddy’
Tom’s passed loads of difficult welding exams to do this bit.. he can now make an oil rig in the north sea… This is the start of the stainless steel framework going inside the feet and legs.
Solid as a rock….
You may be a fresh visitor to my blog. This is what the Yox-Man (Colossus) is going to look like.. you can see how far we’ve got to go!! Hope to be finished in the new year.
I thought i’d show you the destruction of this plaster beast, it actually influenced my covid work… the stuff i’m not showing you!
The other ED, (second of three featured tonight) hacked off the plaster outer skin to reveal the polystyrene core..stuff we hadn’t seen for two years.
Everything at this scale is an engineering problem!!
Here’s wonderful happy Nhung touching up the wax head..
Two hands ..he is big..
Nhung keeping it togerher!
It’s horrible when months of work are reduced to 5 photographs.
I love these waxes, though the hot weather meant I found him on the floor, the morning the client came to view him…
I’m very fortunate to have been commissioned to make five walking men, 8 ft tall, this is really too exciting.. I’m still coming to terms with it.. this is how I’d like them to work together.. I’ll explain more as the project developes.
In the meantime here are some lovely moody daylight studio shots of the plaster studies about 18 inches high, taken by my old friend Tim Bowden..
I’m working with waxes of them too..in different schemes..