Man of Stones with cranes




Well we managed to install the ‘Man of Stones’ at the Sainsbury Centre (UEA) last week. A nervy and exciting day, with a crane nearly lost in the mud..

Here is a short photo essay .. Images By Bill Jackson..


‘M -Tech’  the Art movers and installers turned up at the crack of dawn.




Man of Stones was teleported through the sculpture park, Tatlins tower and Norman Fosters great building look on!





_1045108low res


A slow march.  It seemed funerial at times!

_1045162low res


The base had to be lowered into position first.  This was to be dug into the earth .




Next the Man himself..

















The first pilgrim!




Then a second. I saw her with my own eyes..not at all self conscious!




The surroundings are rather trampled.. the spring will see a new surge..





_1045370low res





I am thrilled.. and apparently lots of people are stopping and taking photos..



Here he is a week earlier in the Exhibition at Messum’s Wiltshire…another incredible experience…its been quite a month.







Incredible space, acres long,

IMG_4733 (web)

















Love this shot… These photo’s are by Steve Russell.














Very Sadly my Mentor the Sculptor and Master founder at the Royal College of Art 


Died last weekend  at age of 94, finally succumbing to Parkinsons.

He taught me the Italian lost wax casting method of casting, which he learnt from the Angeloni brothers who were brought to the RCA by Bernard Meadows. They were part of a communty of Italian casters who moved to London from Rome, bringing lost wax casting to this country, influencing a whole generation of British sculptors.  Tissa  mastered the foundry art and taught for many years in the ‘Sheds’ on Queensgate, when the RCA Sculpture schools were  behind the Natural History Museum. He not only imparted us with the ‘knowledge’, he imbued us with a philosophy for life and made us keenly aware of our history.

He showed us how to ‘enjoy’ our work. The congratulatory bottle(s) of wine after bronze pours, fuelling the telling of the tales of his life which grew ever more elaborate,  is a ritual we carry on to this day.  The Donatello dinners, cooking in kilns and the openess by which everyone was welcome especially on pouring days, were great lessons in life. He created and welcomed us in to his casting ‘family’.

I would not have been able to live the life I lead without him, he was my casting father.

His funeral is at 2pm on the 19th of November, at Mortlake Cremetorium.

Here he is on a pouring day in the foundry at the RCA.  In his element!!   The foundry  was sadly demolished a few years later.


We were privileged to cast the work of the great sculptors of the day, here I am in 1988 finishing a Paolozzi, a frequent visitor and friend of Tissa’a.



I’ll end on that… Cheers to you Tissa.

We’ll raise a glass after the pour tomorrow…5ish at Unit 19 if anyone wants to join us ….







The Exhibitions are finally up!!

The small to medium sized works are in Messum’s London, until the end of this week, the 5th. The large scale works are at Messums Wiltshire..until the 20th October..

There follows a hotch potch of photographs of the opening night at The Barn, which was a fantastic evening.. my thanks to the Gallery, for the dinner (catering for a hundred people on a wonderful long table) and for providing such a spectacular venue! and team!

There follows a number of shots taken by the ‘Steve Russell studio’ of the opening informal talk and tour was ‘conducted’..!!




















The gravitas the light leant to the work was amazing, I have to say it’s the most awe inspiring experience i’ve ever had with my work in a gallery space.,.. if you can call a 12th century Tithe barn a Gallery!










Phil Cairney’s excellent film ‘A gatherig of uncertainties’ about the making and the ideas behind the work was also screened for the first time….





Now the rest are my snaps taken on the phone.. so apologies all round.. except to Steve, who’s photo’s look even better now..  Here are the Sculptures on installation day ,with the strops still round their necks, perched on pallettes.






‘Arbour’ looked great.



Here are some shots of the London show, woefull I know, but you might get an inkling as to the atmosphere in the space, again this looked very special, the reconditioned floor, new wall colour  (off white incase you can’t tell!! ) and the lighting really helped the work..







Notice my steel plinths.. It took a long time to design them..excuse the polystyrene on the floor, we’d just installed and hadn’t yet swept..
























Its all been very well received, Thankyou all those that came to the opening and later to see the shows, apparently they’ve been coming in their hundreds over the weekends at the Barn!

This work joins the larger works at the barn after the 5th. It will be displayed in the long gallery and on the deck..

There is a final night event….a premiere, first screening of Bill Jacksons film ‘Man of Stones’ which tracks, traces and follows the making of the Man of Stones from clay to bronze.. its very poetic! followed by a dinner, so book ahead if you’d like to attend.




I’m off to North Lapland (Samiland) to work with Reindeer Herders tomorrow, Packing my bags tonight. I’m taking Bill Jackson (filmaker) and being led by Prof  Piers Vitebsky,  staying in tents in the snow.

I’m hoping to take what i’ve learnt from the Doncaster Mining project, and make portraits in wax of Herders and their families, whilst doing so, i’ll be interviewing them and Bill will be recording their testimonies on camera. The aim is to secure a record of these people at a time when their livilehoods and way of life are under threat. The process of portraiture acting as a catalyst for their stories, as the heads evolve so do the life stories. Its a pilot project, the first of many anthropological trips I hope to make with the same idea in mind. I might, in the end,  have ammassed an archive of film of peoples stories and their likenesses in bronze.


Back at the studio, i’m working on orders for sculptures, really enjoying making a new ‘Borrowed Breath’ Here he is progressing over the week.










Finally just received this shot of a wrapped ‘Catcher’ being installed on a roof top in the middle of Melbourne, can’t wait to see it unwrapped!



Here he is on the ground, in Suffolk a couple of years ago.. last time I saw him!!

The Carrier..


I’m doing a talk on the 10th of October to the Colchester Art society at Firstsite in Colchester look at their website for info..

And Bill Jacksons film is being screened at the Flipside festival at Henham Barns in Suffolk, on the 16th of November here’s the link,

Looks like a great festival, Robert Macfarlane and Stanley Donwood, are launching their new collaborative book ‘Ness’. Julia Blackburn and Jayne Iveimey discuss their Redlist bird project, Ken Warpole, George Szirtes and many others are featured..



See you soon.. with a Laplandish report.

Two big shows !!!

Hi there,

It’s been a while.. just finishing the final preparations for two large shows, one at Messums, Cork Street, London, the other in the massive space at Messums Wiltshire.

New sexy catalogue has just come back from the printers.. here’s the PDF ..


Laurence Edwards Catalogue 5.8.19 11.36



The shows open one after the other, London is the 13th of September running to the 4th of October.

Wiltshire opens on the 14th of September to  the 20th of October.


There will be a screening of the  film ‘Colossus’ directed by Phil Cairney on the preview night at Wiltshire (13th of September at 6.30pm contact the gallery for more information)  This is a preview film of a three year project documenting the creation of the 26ft bronze colossus, I’ve been commissioned to make and cast! we’re half way through the project..Vast…..


On saturday the 19th of October there is a special premier / preview at Messums Wilts of Bill Jacksons film ‘Man of Stones- The story behind its making’.   again, contact the gallery for information.

Here’s a taster of the film, which is also opening the new Sainsbury centre website this Autumn! and being screened at the ‘Flipside’ festival this November

This will be followed by an ‘In conversation with Bill Jackson, Photographer film maker, Calvin Winner, Head curator at the Sainsbury centre and myself. Talking about the new figure which is  being launched at the Wiltshire show.


Seems strange not to put any images in this, even though there’s a whole catalogue behind the PDF.  Here then are a few shots of the Man of Stones, which aren’t in the catalogue and a few others for your delictation!


Man of stones





Plagued by fly’s on a hot summers day in Suffolk… Bill had to photoshop out millions of the buggers for the catalogue.. indeed there is one image in the catalogue with fly’s .. see if you can spot it!!




Colour reflecting the ‘ocherous’ cliffs of Suffolk and Norfolk









After the flood






‘Arbour’ , at dawn.. Bill was up all hours!









Finaly this from the Eastern Daily Press.. who are running a vox pop come vote  campaign on the ‘Man of Stones’ .. I admit to feeling queezy  reading the comments of the public!!

Please vote.. click ‘like’.. save me!!  I am running a 49% majority at the moment… lets get it upto 50… tell all your friends to sign.. i’ll be checking!!!!!!!!


I hope you can get to the shows, maybe we’ll even meet..

take good care..





High’s – low’s – climax’s – carnege…..

Hello there…

There follows some fantastic shots of the high moments of a career !!! (not taken by me)


Mediocre shots of studio disasters..(taken by me)

Let’s start with the high points..



We installed the six, six foot figures into the 9 ft niches in the entrance hall of a private English Stately home..

The culmination of work that’s occupied me for over a year.. so exciting to finally see them in the place for which they were intended.

A neo classical James Wyatt  (Robert Adam’s rival) interior from the late 18th century.. What a privelage!!





I’ll be showing these two ‘The Patriarch’


‘Canopy’ (working title – if you have a better one let me know)

At ‘Messum’s Wiltshire’ as part of a major one man show spread over two venues this September,







Mould making started on this  8 ft  clay figure, which forms the basis of a commission for the Sainsbury centre in Norwich .   Bill Jackson is making a film of the whole project from conception to installation. Here a we have a short photoghraphic essay (using stills he’s taken whilst not filming)… for your delectation!


Tom advising on the mould divisions..


Ed applying the rubber , the first coat is sprayed on using a ultra modern spraying machine!



Ed’s laying a mesh to make the rubber strong.


Here’s the spray gun.. brutal!







Nhung’s applying the super strong plaster coat..




Cases are complete, Louis and Ed start to de – mould.


Top case removed , head survives..



An optical illusion


Want to know what happens next..? you’ll have to wait till next time!




Now for the carnage!

Easter sunday saw the hottest day of the year, and my Saxmundham studio wasn’t prepared.. the next day I found half the wax sculptures sagged, drooped and collapsed on the floor..




As regular followers of my blog will know,  this is an all to familiar grim reality in my life.. a warning to anyone who wants to persue a career in wax..




Here are some of the survivors .. .. now in the process of being cast in preparation for the shows in London and Wiltshire this September.




‘Arbour’, a 16 ft high sculpture containing a life size figure.


‘Hithe-stone’ from flints found on Cove Hithe beach, being used for the Sainsbuy centre sculpture, but objects in their own right I feel..


‘Modern nature’, a sculpture of an oak modelled from life in the depths of Staverton Thicks, an ancient oak and Holly forest in deepest darkest Suffolk.


Plaster and paint..








Presumably the bottom of a well?  Exposed by the eroding cliffs at Cove Hithe



This is a ‘Paramoudra’ sent to me by Calvin Winner curator at the Sainsbury centre. These are strange flint circles found in the Norfolk chalk reefs, this one is at Sheringham seen at low tide.

The bone and vertebrae of ancient sea creatures transform over time into a gloopy, syrupy gel like substance that eventually turns into flint after millions of years . This protean flint gel, gets moved around by time and geological pressure and can find itself squzing into burrows and homes of long forgotten creatures in chalk. These phenomena are quite common along the Norfolk coastline. Apparently some of the nodules are similar in shape and style in different circles, reflecting the burrowing methods of the mysterious

long lost creatures!!IMG_1438


Blue tits nesting in our circuitry!



someone loves you..




Can anyone identify this bad boy..!



Ancient sculptures at the British museum, this one from the Levant  (ancient Syria) all the gem stones have fallen out to reveal this wonderful matrixIMG_2641

This from the Levant too is the oldest sculpture ever found, 7 thousand years old…


These are whats left of my bird colection after a moth attack!









Kesterl from above..IMG_1952




I thoroughly enjoyed Juia Blackburns ‘Time-songs:  Searching for Doggerland’

Mildly eccentric chronicle of a womans search through geological time  for a lost land  – mirroring  grief for a loved husband.

A friend gifted me Daisy Johnson’s ‘Fen’ briliant surreal short stories immersing themsleves in disturbing goings on, often delving into female sexuality with quirky slants on creatures set amidst fennish worlds. Good stuff.

Saw too ‘Grief is a thing with Feathers’ at the Barbican,  the same friend gave me the book by Max Porter.. incredible one man show  starring Cillian Murphy bringing up two boys after the loss of his wife, whilst trying to compose a biography of Ted Hughes,, A giant crow coming to his aid..

Add to that the sublime ‘Bonnard ‘at the Tate and Victor Wynd’s  alarming ‘Museum of Curiosity’ just north of Bethnal Green and you’ve got a hell of a time ahead of you!!!

Thats all folks… have a lovely May see you next month…







World in wax.

HI there..

Its been a while since the last post from Siberia.. its taken a while to settle back into a routine, the fierce pace of work has meant the employment of more people and the advancement of all projects.

I’m going to ignore most of them for this post and concentrate on the work evolving in the studio, in preparation for two shows this september at ‘Messum’s’ in Cork St London and ‘Messum’s Wiltshire’ (the massive and beautiful Barn at Tisbury  which Johnny Messum has developed in the last two years to become a major arts centre with an international reputation.) The barn will host the large works and London the smaller studio bronzes. This will be the first time ‘Messum’s have shown the same artist at both venues at the same time and represents a large amount of work for me and the team.

Two films are also being made, both to be previewde at the barn in September.

Messums Wiltshire – Gallery and Arts Centre – Tisbury, Wiltshire

The Barn will be the location for the launch of a major sculpture commission which i’m undertaking for the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich, funded by the ‘Paul and Louise Cook Foundation’, it’s a development of ‘The Man of Stones’ and will be an 8ft figure adorned with rock and material from the site and surrounding countryside.

The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

So….I’ll stop talking and start the imagery they’ll be the odd caption…
This is the ‘Man of stones’ study.. He’s adorned with his stones and detritus of his environment, like a Caddis fly larva, building an environment from his surroundings.
The 9 ft figure in clay  will shrink to about 8ft through the casting process.
This is a wax flint cast from a flint from Covehythe .. a constant source of inspiration for me. This will form the basis of a collection of stones from Norfolk and Suffolk beaches which will adorn this giant.
Here he is earlier on with Bill Jackson implanted for scale, Bills been filming the whole process of modelling and is making a ‘poetic’ filmic response to the work. the rushes look amazing and like the miners project films I’m learning a lot from the viewing.
In fact you can see some of the miners heads in the background, I’ve modelled around forty so far, one more session to go and then we start on the next phase of the project . more on that in a later posting .
Covehythe beach…
Heads from the mining community of Doncaster..
Here is the new ‘Catcher’, this development is called ‘After the flood’ a new figure over 6ft high now supports 14ft flanks, a few shots of his cutting up and casting follow..
Covehythe inspiration…
The severed sections (with the pouring channels and air vents applied) are hung from frames and boxes are built around them, in which we pour the casting materials.. up to 80 buckets of plaster and grog a time.. taking three people two days to fill!
Couldn’t resist a vbit of Reindeer antler..
Freddy master box builder!
Nhung next to one of the ‘investements’ beautiful in of themselves.  See the Colossus mould progressing in the background..on a bronze shin to the right…
Ok so here’s a run through of work in various states of completion mainly wax and a few unfinished bronzes.. it’s all very exciting for me.  I start days not knowing which direction to face…  this batch are at Halesworth, all taken by the photographer Bill Jackson..and a few by me you can tell those as the quality is somewhat lacking!





Her’s a bunch from the Fire Station studio.. chaotic isn’t the word! the studio is changing every day at the moment as my mind try’s to reconcile a myriad of ideas… long may it last eh!  can you spot the dog?1




In bronze….









Rope and string….being cast next week.. major challenge…









These Siberian fish traps really left an impression, I think you’ll see them filtering through.. in fact the Reindeer Herders traps and snares have stayed with me, though i failed to take good photos of them!!




























Leaf man on a frosty morning

Bill took these at White House Farm in Glemham (Suffolk), before we moved the sculpture to Salisbury Museum overlooking the Cathedral, where it will live for a year or so..



My awful photograph….





Finally for the lovers of studio and foundry activity here are some Bill Jackson shots of everyday life…

Art as Film | United Kingdom | Bill Jackson Photography and Art FIlm




and a couple of mine..



Goodby from us.. more treats in store soon… get in touch and comment –like me!! .. it’s a lonely cyber world I inhabit…


take good care ……Lx


A Siberian Journal. A personal chronicle of an expedition to visit the Reindeer Herders of Northern Siberia.

In October I was privilaged to join Piers Vitebsky  (Anthropologist) on an expedition to visit the ‘Eveny’ people of North Eastern Siberia. In the ‘Forbidden zone’ of Northern Russia on the Arctic coast. Few if any westerners had been there before. I had no idea what I had let myself in for.

I have written a journal in the first person, from the notes made along the way. The images below vaguely accompany it.

Click on this and all will be revealed.. It redefines travel writing!!!

Siberian Diary 2018

The Verkhoyansk Mountain range..

HKG_6724?_??? ый размер


HKG_6708?_??? ый размер




HKG_7078?_??? ый размер

Moscow Airport.. Vodka toast with Piers before the flight…


Our first stop over the Urals and six hours of forest, is Yakutsk…. a town on Perma frost.. pavements buckle, The wooden posts of old houses are forced through tarmac, as the ice marls and twists this old fur trading outpost. Now a boom town dealing in Siberian diamonds ..

Yakustsia (the region) is the size of India with a million people in it. We have to fly over it northward over mountain ranges to get to Tiksi our next stop.


The old quarter. Old wooden houses still occupied, though neglected and forgotten.









The next day we fly three hours North to Tiksi, over the Verkhoyansk mountains, we leave the last tree’s on the Taiga, and fly over never ending mountains, in a school bus with wings.


IMG_0614IMG_0635IMG_0625HKG_6604?_??? ый размерHKG_6617_??? ый размер

Meet Tolya, (big character) Pier’s great friend. A Deer Herder turned anthropologist. He can read the mountains. and points out villages and valley’s he and Piers have travelled.


After three hours the Arctic ocean comes into view..


Lakes reminding me of Narwal skin.


We arrive in Tiksi, in the forbidden zone on a sensitive coast. As the ice retreats due to global warming the Arctic offers great potential as a trading route from East to West, avoiding the Suez and the South China seas, pirates wouldn’t survive up here. It’s also a long and lengthy border very close to the U S and Europe.

Mainly occupied by the military and sea men it once had a population of 20,000 now only 4000. meaning 4/5 ths of it is empty. It certainly feels like it..

The few shops  that exist don’t advertise themselves, no need to.. and the concrete blocks are crumbling, you can only tell they are inhabited when dim lights appear in windows at night.


A Tiksi street.


One of the docks.


The off licence..



The corridor where we had to report to the ‘Border Police’ office.


We visited the Museum.


The museum Gallery


and a selection of local creatures, stuffed…


Note the polystyrene sea


A reconstructed Mammoth.. supported by welded electrical conduit and wire.


Cast Iron radiators seemed to have a myriad of uses.


walk back from the museum.


We were kindly put up by a local administrator..this is the stairway to the flat.


We rested the night and set off the next morning for the land trip to the tiny village of Naiba, which is the base for the Herding community in this region. We heard we were to travel in a ‘Tank’ an all terrain vehicle. These had a reputation, we were pensive.


Our hopes were not raised on arrival.


We discovered we were to sit on top of the vehicle for the duration….


Vlodjar steered the ‘Tank’ with two levers,each controlling a brake, burning brake fluid soon filled the cab.



One of the many break downs, that hampered our progress..


A hobby I took up..

IMG_1015HKG_6699?_??? ый размер


After 14 hours, we had made little progress. There was talk of a man in a hut at  a Goldmine an hour away, (the only refuge for hundreds of miles) we could stay the night there if we could get to it, or we could freeze….

HKG_7477?_??? ый размер

The Goldmine was empty for the winter, a man guarded it against bandits. He was lovely and made us supper, offered us beds in the Miners dorm.


5o gallon drum, wood fired stove.


Our dorm..


Huts on skids for easy movement in the snow..


The next morning we prepare to leave.. another gruelling day ahead..


IMG_1685HKG_7451?_??? ый размерHKG_7466?_??? ый размерIMG_4053HKG_7707?_??? ый размерHKG_6695?_??? ый размерHKG_6834?_??? ый размерHKG_7301?_??? ый размер

We break down many times, the caterpillar tracks coming off after 15 hours travelling.. It’s dark and it’s snowing.. I crawl into the back to sleep with the husky on a bag of onions as Vlodjar tells us the river between us and the village is to high to cross and we have to detour.. he then gets lost.. we are rescued in the early hours of the morning..

We wake to find ourselves in the tiny fishing village of Naiba.. population 400, this Eveny village is the only inhabited place in an area half the size of Wales.

The mountains at the rear of the village are the ones we were lost in the night before. You can just make out the river in the foreground, the Arctic beyond.

HKG_6874?_??? ый размерIMG_1602IMG_1648IMG_1592

We wake to find out we are still a day away from the Reinder Herders hut.. we have to get back on the machine early as we need to be there before nightfall…

Our lovely hosts bid us farewell



Naiba disappears from view.HKG_6853?_??? ый размер

Our tracks.

HKG_6938??_?? вый размер

Our third day travelling on a deafening bone crunching concrete mixer, in sub zero temperatures unfolds..


We finally see a pin prick of light in the dark.. it takes another half hour to reach the tiny wooden hut, housing six men, who make up a ‘Brigade’ of Herders. The Deer are somewhere deep in the mountains.   Head torches strafing the dark and barking dogs greet us.. frozen we are ushered into the hut for boiled Reindeer.. and Tea.

Tonight we are curios, the Herders find our quirks most amusing, how we hold a fork, how we chew and our left handedness all raise mirth..


Anatloy the Brigadeer.. we sleep head to head on bunks that line the walls of this ancient hut..


Tolya now totally at home , tells stories. Re-enacting scenes that have taken place in these hills for centuries..


The wonderful stove , the heart of the hut, kettles constantly boiling. The wood is whittled into kindling for the dawn lighting.


White Sausage, blood plasma in Intestine


My bunk, Reindeer hide..very comfortable..



The next morning we wake to find out where we are, and what we’re staying in!



Numerous dogs emerge from tufts of grass their night-time lairs.


My first Reindeer, tethered to a post, being broken in..hut in the rear.


Piers examines a saddle, made of Reindeer.


Anatoly saddles up  in preparation for going out to find the herd..


The Larder.. high enough to avoid Wolves Bear and Wolverine..


Nothing rots as it never thaws.. here are the left overs of months of meals..


A skinned fox..


The specialized hoof of a reindeer. It splayes out to maximise surface area on the snow and the hairs (unique to the reindeer) help with surface tension.


The Hide clad door to the hut.


At last, the climax of the whole trip! The herd appear in the valley. Ushered by Yuri and Anatoly on their deer.  They flow over the land like lava, their antlers like a coralline forest.. they settle in a swirl like a shoal of pilchard. the sudden presence of 3000 eyes and consciousness’ is intimidating.

IMG_1342IMG_1403IMG_1369IMG_1379HKG_7032?_??? ый размерHKG_7043?_??? ый размерIMG_1436fjngIMG_1415HKG_7247?_??? ый размер


Lasso’s are made of twisted Reindeer gut and the toggle at the end is carved from Mountain sheep horn.



After a day with the deer we retreat to the hut for more venison and tea.



The next day we have to return. The time it took us to get here,and the uncertainty of safe passage back, means our stay is short.

We retrace our steps like a rewinding video tape…


The river at Naiba is just low enough to cross..



The next day I explore the Orthodox grave yard, distorted by the Perma an Expressionistic stage set..


That night we experience the first Aurora Borealis of the year, the villagers whistle to it to encourage it….

HKG_7370??_?? вый размерHKG_7555?_??? ый размерHKG_7536?_??? ый размер

We travel for another two days. On arrival in Tiksi we discover the Airstrip is frozen and we are stranded for a week.. we nervously await news, and then Tolyas brother a herder some 700 miles south, phones on his satellite phone to tell us our plane is coming.. he’s seen it in the sky.. we pack and sure enough the plane arrives..

I think this is a good place to stop…


Exhausted?  try reading the text… you may find the pain worthwhile..let me know if you manage it..

Thankyou for staying with it.. back to sculpture next week.. you never know there may be a Siberian influence..




STOP PRESS : Talk at the NPG

Hello.. this is an unusual posting..


I’m giving a talk at the National Portrait Gallery Next thurday.. lunchtime…15th November..


It would be vey nice to see you there.. yes you!!!


Check out the link for details and tickets.. and previous postings for an idea of content…


I’ve written my Siberian adventures up.. they are being read through and checked by those in the know and will be posted after my talk.. .I hope you’ll be able to contain yourself until then…a few images follow for a flavour……