Study in Sculpture: The Great Italian Influence
Many of my formative years were spent in Italy. Without doubt, the greatest influence on my work today is my period between 18-22 which I spent studying in a drawing studio in Florence, working with woodcarvers, marble carvers at Pietrasanta and drawing in museums, galleries and landscapes throughout Italy.
It was a chance encounter with a young girl sitting on a pillar in Italy that planted the seed of inspiration that informed so many of my best-known works.
It was here also that Louise Michail, ancient art via borgospesso in Milan approached me. They bought one of my life size figures (Louise III), intrigued initially that the bronze shared the same name as the gallery owner’s mother.
However, they then went on to invest in a whole series of my WE Figures (12 in total), which had been exhibited in the Robert Bowman Gallery, under the title “Uncovered”.
I experimented with different chemicals on the bronzes to create exciting patinations giving the impression that the bronzes had just been pulled from the earth. This had been inspired by my years spent studying Etruscan, Greek and Roman sculptures in Italian museums.
I was also approached by a collector who was renovating a large ex convent and church near Lucca in Tuscany, to create a sculpture for a niche in a hallway next to an old chapel. Helen was made as if to “hold up” the roof within the niche.
You can see Helen also reaching for the skies on my studio here in Cumbria.
I intend to see the current exhibition at The Louvre – The Springtime of the Renaissance – dedicated to Sculpture and the Arts in Florence during the period 1400-1460. The exhibition proposes to capture through masterpieces of sculpture the origin and ‘Miracle’ of the Renaissance in Florence. Sculpture was of course the branch of figurative art in which this new artistic and cultural movement was first expressed.
For further information, contact David Williams-Ellis here.