Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture 2015 Shortlist
1. MIYA ANDO
Miya Ando is an American artist, whose metal canvases and sculpture articulate
themes of contradiction and juxtaposition of ideas. A descendant of Bizen sword
makers, she was raised among swordsmiths and Buddhist priests in a temple in
Okayama, Japan. Applying traditional techniques of her ancestry, she skillfully transforms sheets of burnished industrial steel, using heat and chemicals, into ephemeral abstractions suffused with subtle gradations of colour. Ando received a bachelor degree in East Asian Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and she studied Buddhist iconography and imagery at Yale University. She was apprenticed to a master metalsmith in Japan, followed by a residency at Northern California’s Public Art Academy in 2009. Ando has received many awards, including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2012. Her work has been exhibited extensively all over the world and she has produced numerous public commissions. Her large-scale installation piece Emptiness the Sky (Shou Sugi Ban) is featured in the 56th Venice Biennale, in the Frontiers Reimagined exhibition at the Museo di Palazzo Grimani. In her ongoing public art piece, Obon, the artist uses skeleton Bodhi Leaves and coats them in phosphorescence and resin, and floats them in ponds. Over the past six years this work has featured in locations such as Puerto Rico, Korea and The Queens Museum, New York. She lives and works in New York.
Shortlisted work: Since 9/11
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, London.
The near thirty-foot tall commemorative sculpture built from World Trade Center steel is installed permanently at Zaha Hadid’s Aquatic Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.
Artist’s commentary: ‘I have a deep appreciation for the dynamic properties of metal and its ability to reflect light. Metal simultaneously conveys strength and permanence and yet in the same instant can appear delicate, fragile, luminous, soft and ethereal. The medium becomes both a contradiction and juxtaposition for expressing notions of evanescence, including ideas such as the transitory and ephemeral nature of all things, quietude and the underlying impermanence of everything.
The idea for the Since 9/11 sculpture was to take a found object; a large piece of steel recovered from The Twin Towers of The World Trade Center buildings at Ground Zero in New York and sand and re-finish a portion of the steel to reveal within the material a polished, light-reflecting, mirror surface. The remainder of the steel was left in its natural, found, rusted state. The mirrored steel, 28 feet in the sky redirects light back into the community.’
2. HARRY GRAY
Cambridge-based Harry Gray trained at Sunderland Art School. Initially working as a stone-carver, Gray has extended his practice as a professional sculptor to include work in wood, clay and bronze. He specialises in permanent artworks where concept, and the relationship of the work to the site enjoy equal importance. Gray has gained a reputation for his innovative memorials in historic open spaces such as the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne, near Folkestone, Kent in 1992 and his mosaic, The Reformers’ Tree commemorating political enfranchisement near Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park. His collaborative work includes the carving on the stone freize of David Blackhouse’s Animals in War, Park Lane, 2004. Gray’s place-making projects also centre on historic sites and architectural landmarks such as Ex-Libris , the bronze bollards for Cambridge University Library. Gray has recently been commissioned to make new entrance gates for Twickenham rugby stadium which will be unveiled in 2016. The gates commemorate the entire English international team who all volunteered at the outbreak of World War I and were all killed in action. In his design, bronze roses change into poppies to reflect the way that the players turned into soldiers.
Shortlisted work: The Codebreaker
Rutland Hill, High Street, Newmarket.
Commissioned by Suffolk County Council, with the support of The Bill Tutte Memorial Fund, this public sculpture celebrates the work of code-breaker and mathematician, Professor William Thomas Tutte (1917-2002), known as Bill Tutte. Born in Newmarket, Tutte was recruited after he graduated from Cambridge to work at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, on coded messages from Nazi High Command which were intercepted and printed on perforated paper. Tutte cracked the Lorenz cipher and the information this provided is said to have shortened World War II by up to two years.
Artist’s commentary: ‘We really wanted to use this commission to transform an unmanaged car park into a space for people to enjoy and tell a story about a very modest man, who played a very big part in World War II. The monument shows how the code was received at Bletchley Park and I have tried to give it an abstract quality the closer you get to it, which contrasts with the figurative image [of Bill Tutte] seen from a distance.’
3. ANTONY GORMLEY
Born in London in 1950, Gormley read art-history, anthropology and archaeology at Trinity College, Cambridge from 1968-1971. He then travelled in Sri Lanka and India for three years learning about Buddhism and Asian culture. On his return, he studied at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design and Goldsmiths, London, before completing a postgraduate course at the Slade School of Art, University College London from 1977-79. He is widely acclaimed for his sculptures, installations and public artworks that investigate the relationship of the human body to space. Gormley’s work has been widely exhibited throughout the UK and internationally with exhibitions at Forte di Belvedere, Florence, 2015, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, 2014, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, 2012, The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, 2011, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria, 2010, Hayward Gallery, London, 2007, Malmö Konsthall, Sweden, 1993 and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark, 1989. He has also participated in major group shows such as the Venice Biennale in 1982 and 1986, and Documenta 8, Kassel, Germany in 1987. Permanent public works include the Angel of the North, Gateshead, England, Another Place, Crosby Beach, England, Inside Australia, Lake Ballard, Western Australia, and Exposure, Lelystad, The Netherlands. Gormley was awarded the Turner Prize in 1994, the South Bank Prize for Visual Art in 1999, the Bernhard Heiliger Award for Sculpture in 2007, the Obayashi Prize in 2012 and the Praemium Imperiale in 2013. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, an Honorary Doctor of the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity and Jesus Colleges, Cambridge. Gormley has been a Royal Academician since 2003. This year, Gormley created five cast iron life-size standing sculptures for The Landmark Trust, each work directly responding to five unique locations throughout England. The project extends into 2016, at sites such as the Clavell Tower, Dorset and Saddell Bay, Mull of Kintyre, Argyll and Bute.
Shortlisted work: ROOM
The Beaumont Hotel, Brown Hart Gardens, Mayfair, London.
ROOM takes the form of both a monumental public sculpture and an architectural extension on a wing of the Art Deco style Beaumont Hotel. The sculpture, a giant cuboid figure, contains a hotel bedroom.
Artist’s commentary: ‘I take the body as our primary habitat. ROOMcontrasts a visible exterior of a body formed from large rectangular masses with an inner experience. The interior of ROOM is only 4 metres square but 10 metres high: close at body level, but lofty and open above. Shutters over the window provide total blackout and very subliminal levels of light allow me to sculpt darkness itself. My ambition for this work is that it should confront the monumental with the most personal, intimate experience.’
4. PHILIP JACKSON CVO DL MA FRBS
Born in Inverness, Jackson now works from his studio in Midhurst, West Sussex. He attended Farnham School of Art (now University for the Creative Arts) and was a press photographer for a year before he becoming a sculptor for a design company. Having risen in the firm to become Managing Director, Jackson decided to branch out alone, dividing his time between commissions and gallery sculpture. He loves figurative work and is noted for his modern style and emphasis on form. His many major pieces of outdoor public sculpture include war memorials such as the Jersey Liberation Sculpture , unveiled 1995 in St. Helier, Jersey, the Gurkha Monument in Horse Guards Avenue, Whitehall, London, 1997 and the Korean War Memorial in Victoria Embankment Gardens, London, 2014. His memorials of individuals range from those celebrating footballers such as Sir Matt Busby at Old Trafford and Bobby Moore at Wembley Stadium, to royalty which include the monument to the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother in the Mall and Her Majesty the Queen’s Golden Jubilee equestrian statue in Windsor Great Park. Jackson won the Royal Society of British Sculptors’ Silver Medal for Sculpture in 1990 and was awarded the Otto Beit Medal for Sculpture in 1991 and 1992. He received the Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture in 2013 with the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, London (2012). His most recent public work, a statue of the theatre director, Joan Littlewood was unveiled in front of the Theatre Royal Stratford East, London earlier this month.
Shortlisted work: Mahatma Gandhi Memorial
Parliament Square, London.
The Mahatma Gandhi Memorial was commissioned by the UK Government and the Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust, headed by Lord Desai. The sculpture, which is life-size and a half depicts Mahatma Gandhi at the age of 62, when he came to England in 1931 and visited the then Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald at 10 Downing Street. The sculpture was commissioned as a gesture of goodwill and friendship to India and marks the importance of the Mahatma to the histories of both the UK and India. Gandhi was the inspiration for the non-violent civil rights movement. He now stands in Parliament Square with eight Prime Ministers and two Presidents and is the only person commemorated there with no official title.
Artist’s commentary: ‘As far as I am concerned, it was a great pleasure and honour to be asked to do the sculpture. I have visited India on various occasions, love the country and by great coincidence visited Gandhi’s grave in Delhi almost exactly one year to the day before completing the sculpture at my studio and four months before hearing about the commission. I depicted Gandhi in the shawl and dhoti he wore in the colder weather of England and as he dressed to see Ramsay MacDonald. This being in my opinion appropriate and fitting for Parliament Square.’
5. DOUGLAS JENNINGS ARBS
Douglas Jennings studied figurative sculpture at Stafford Art College, where he became inspired by the great Italian sculptors of the High Renaissance and the Baroque, Michelangelo and Bernini. He developed his talent for creating realistic and accurate portraiture working at Madame Tussauds in London. Employed there as senior sculptor from 1999 until 2003 he was responsible for waxwork portraits of historical figures such as Alexander Graham Bell and celebrities including the politician, Charles Kennedy, the former London Mayor, Ken Livingstone and the actor, Robin Williams. Since working independently Douglas Jennings has become an established figurative sculptor, capturing the personality and character of his subjects and sculpting the human form with sensitivity whether in miniature or large scale. Jennings’ work can be seen worldwide and his high profile commissions include a miniature replica MrsJordan for The Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace and the highly regarded portrait of Barack Obama. He is the main sculptor for the Turner prize winning artist, Gillian Wearing OBEand has been involved in many of her projects, including six portraits as part of her exhibition ‘Album’. One of these masks is featured in a self-portrait of Gillian, held in the National Portrait Gallery. Jennings’ public works include the statue of Johnny Haynes, captain of England and Fulham football club that stands outside Craven Cottage, unveiled in 2008. Further commissions yet to be unveiled include a commemorative statue for the Manchester Fire and Rescue Service. In 2010 Jennings’ was invited to become a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors.
Shortlisted work: Squadron Leader Mahinder Singh Pujji DFC
St Andrew’s Gardens, Royal Pier Road, Gravesend, Kent.
This statue represents and celebrates the involvement of all those from the commonwealth who volunteered to serve Britain in military campaigns between 1914-2014. It depicts Squadron Leader Mahinder Singh Pujji (1918-2010) who lived at Gravesend and was one of the first Indian Sikh pilots to volunteer with the RAF during World War II. He was one of 2.5 million servicemen who came from the Indian subcontinent to form the largest volunteer army in history. Mahinder Singh Pujji flew with the 43 Squadron and had an illustrious career, receiving the DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross) for his bravery fighting against Japan in the Far East.
Artist’s commentary:‘I immersed myself in the commission for eight months and my references were based on knowledge gleaned from family members of the subject and senior members of the RAF. During the sculpting process, I was advised by a number of experts including Group Captain Patrick Tootal OBE DL, RAF (Retd), an RAF pilot for 33 years, on all aspects of uniform, even down to the King’s crown on each button by the RAF Hendon Museum and of course by Pujji’s son, Satinder, on creating the perfect likeness. Pujji refused to wear the protective head gear because of his religion. Researching the turban was fascinating; I learnt how to tie the turban Pujji wore from Mr Jagdev Virdee. He highlighted there are several different ways of tying a turban; however Pujji tied his in a distinct way with six folds and a high peak. It was paramount that I got that right.’
6. MARTIN JENNINGS FRBS
Martin Jennings has a studio in the countryside just outside Oxford. He read English Literature at Oxford University before training as a calligrapher and letter-cutter at the City and Guilds of London Art School in 1980. He then served a part-time apprenticeship to Richard Kindersley in Kennington. After working briefly in Carrara, Italy, Martin turned to figurative work and took a course at the Sir John Cass School of Art in Whitechapel. He now concentrates on portrait sculpture and public statues, often incorporating inscriptions. He has received commissions from many national institutions including the National Portrait Gallery, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the University of Oxford. His subjects are taken from the world of politics, the military, royalty, academia, industry, medicine, law and literature. His statues of John Betjeman, 2007 at St. Pancras Station in London and Philip Larkin in 2010 at Hull Paragon Station are celebrated landmarks. Martin’s current commissions include a monument to the Crimean war heroine, Mary Seacole for London’s South Bank, a statue of George Orwell for Broadcasting House and a sculpture of the Women of Steel for Sheffield city centre. His monument to pioneering plastic surgeon, Sir Archibald McIndoe, who treated his war hero father, was recently unveiled at East Grinstead. Pangolin Editions cast all Martin’s silver and bronze work.
Shortlisted work: Sir Archibald McIndoe
Sackville College, High Street, East Grinstead.
Funded by public subscription, this is a monument to the pioneeering plastic surgeon from New Zealand, Sir Archibald McIndoe CBE, FRCS (1900-1960). A true hero of World War II, based in East Grinstead he worked for the RAF and greatly improving the treatment and rehabilitation of airmen, who had been severely burned.
Artist commentary: ‘I wanted my sculpture of the great surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe to illustrate the quasi-paternal relationship between doctor and patient. Coincidentally it was a particularly personal commission for me as my own wounded father was treated by McIndoe’s team during the war. I was concerned at the time that the quiet emotion of the piece and the vulnerability of the wounded figure might make it too tender for a public monument so attempted to offset this with a formal, upright, almost hieratic composition. We chose the site with great care and I included a curved stone bench around the work. During the war the people of the town opened their hearts and homes to burned servicemen from the hospital; now when the seat round the statue is occupied by today’s townspeople, the work is symbolically completed. The patients’ mental wounds were healed not just by a brilliant surgeon but by a compassionate community and every part of the monument needed to contribute to telling this story.’
7. HOLGER LÖNZE
Based today in Ballydehob, West Cork, Lönze was born in Schmallenberg, Westphalia, Germany. He trained as a furniture maker before studying interior architecture in Detmold, where he became assistant to the German sculptor, Axel Seyler. In 1995 he moved to Ireland, gaining a first class degree in lithography and sculpture at the University of Ulster, Belfast and then completing a PhD thesis on visual perception and time in art. Lönze was involved as a researcher in environmental design for the Eden Project and Falmouth College of Arts in Cornwall and pursued his interest in craft materials and the making of Irish boats called curachs. His work focuses on people and their interaction with their cultural and natural surroundings. The sea is a recurrent theme; his response to the Atlantic’s maritime culture and coastline is epitomised in his Seabell series and the Atlanean series which includes The Large Seabird, To the People of the Sea and Large Bow Wave. Lönze’s figurative work often references archaeology, ancient craft traditions and literature. His style of sculpture has a realism which reflects the influence of the Berlin School of sculpture. His rich experience in arts and crafts has led him to produce work rooted in traditional techniques and materials while at the same time being contemporary in concept and context. Lönze says: ‘My concern with sustainable working methods is reflected in use of low-carbon experimental Bronze Age casting methods and the use of regenerative and recycled materials together with direct metalworking techniques.’
Collaborating with landscape designer Hugo Bugg, Lönze designed and fabricated a large water feature for the goldmedal-winning RBC Stormwater Gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014. Other collaborative projects include Deisal and SkulptArk. Lönze has undertaken many commissions in the public domain in both urban and rural contexts.
Shortlisted work: Myles after Myles
Strabane, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland.
This public artwork celebrates the writer and satirist Brian O’Nolan aka Flann O’Brien and Myles na gCopaleen in his hometown Strabane, Co. Tyrone. Based on the iconic photograph of O’Nolan in his iconic coat and Fedora hat, the figure is leaning against three first editions of his most popular books: An Béal Bocht, At Swim-Two-Birds and The Dalkey Archive. The title of the work is a play on O’Nolan’s compendium of An Cruiskeen Lawn articles published under the title Myles before Myles. The figure was partially cast in bronze in the artist’s studio foundry in West Cork, using the lost-wax process in combination with Bronze Age moulding techniques. Clothing and hat were worked separately in repoussé sheet bronze and then combined with the cast elements while the books were fabricated using gilding metal sheet after being CNC processed and punched with halftone text and an image by Sean O’Sullivan RHA of the first edition of An Béal Bocht. The work is internally lit using LED lighting.
Artist’s commentary: ‘It was very exciting and inspiring to work on the public sculpture for this outstanding writer. Given his unorthodox style and twisted view of reality, the work couldn’t just be cast in a modern foundry. Instead we used repoussé on a large scale, bashing and pounding sheet bronze into shape – a reference to De Selby’s theories in O’Nolan’s The Third Policeman. The cast bronze elements were produced from moulds taken from the plaster original, using the lost wax process together with Late Bronze Age processes, developed through my research in experimental archaeology. Combined with TIG welding and the contemporary CNC perforation technology used in the books, this offered an unconventional approach to sculpture fabrication that paid tribute to O’Nolan’s ideas.’
8. CONRAD SHAWCROSS RA
Conrad Shawcross was born in 1977 in London, where he currently resides and works. He studied at the Chelsea School of Art (1996), the Ruskin School of Art (1998) and the Slade School of Art (2001) The artist has undertaken several residencies including the Science Museum from 2009-2011 and the Urbanomic residency, Falmouth, 2010. This year Shawcross created a site-specific installation for the Royal Academy’s Annenberg Courtyard, and will soon unveil a permanent public commission to mark the inauguration of The Francis Crick Institute, London. His first public realm commission Space Trumpet, installed in the atrium of the refurbished Unilever Building in London in 2007, won the Art & Work 2008 Award for a Work of Art Commissioned for a Specifc Site in a Working Environment. Shawcross has won other prizes such as The Jack Goldhill Award for Sculpture in 2014, and he was awarded the Illy prize for best solo presentation at Art Brussels in 2009. Shawcross has had solo presentations at institutions including the New Art Centre, Roche Court, 2015, ARTMIA Foundation, Beijing, 2014, the Roundhouse, London, 2013, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2013, Turner Contemporary, Margate, 2011 and Oxford Science Park in 2010. His work has also been exhibited internationally at institutions and events including Palazzo Fortuny, Venice in 2011 and 2015, Royal Academy, London, Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania, 2014, the 55th Venice Biennale, 2013, Grand Palais, Paris, 2013, Hayward Gallery, London, 2013, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, 2012 and the National Gallery, London in 2012. Shawcross’s work is held in public collections such as The British Council, London, The David Roberts Foundation, London, MUDAM Luxembourg and the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich.
Shortlisted work: Three Perpetual Chords
Dulwich Park, London.
In 2012, Southwark Council appointed the Contemporary Art Society to manage the commissioning process for a new artwork for Dulwich Park to honour the original sculpture by Barbara Hepworth, which was stolen in 2011. Shawcross’s design is a series of three cast iron sculptures, each created in relation to the mathematical patterns found in music and engineered by Structure Workshop Ltd. The works were conceived in a sequence on either side a main path.
Artist’s commentary: ‘It has been a great pleasure to make a new, permanent commission for Dulwich Park. Three Perpetual Chords are a counterpoint to a traditional civic sculpture in that the loops invite approach, play and physical interaction. The sequence of three works has emerged from my ongoing study of light and harmonics, creating a new trail through the park. They deal with the numbers within three musical chords, The Octave, The Fifth and The Fourth. These knot-like forms host a void within them and this is a subtle reference to Hepworth’s work, in which the hole is ubiquitous. I hope they become meeting points, romantic destinations, and encourage playfulness while remaining beguiling and provoking.’
9. SIMON SMITH MRBS
Smith first studied at Cambridge College of Art and Design and then at the Building Crafts Training School in London. In 1982 he began his career, serving an apprenticeship as a stonemason at Woburn Abbey. From here he went to the City and Guilds of London Art School where he studied sculpture and carving and is now a tutor. In 1996 Smith set up his studio in South London. He has worked with stone for over 30 years and has received many varied commissions ranging from historic and figurative carving such as Kitty Wilkinson, 2012, the marble statue of the health campaigner for St George’s Hall, Liverpool and new gargoyles for Westminster Abbey to contemporary sculpture. Smith says, ‘I like to work with my clients, whether they be a committee on a large project or an individual with a deeply personal headstone, trying to understand what they hope for, and then try to express it in a sculptural form. If it’s a statue, I try to capture the humanity of the subject, giving the piece an expression and spirit. If the work is restoration carving, I conduct extensive research before trying to carve with the style and rhythms of the original.’ In 2006 Smith was elected member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors and also member of the Master Carvers Association.
Shortlisted work: A Promise Honoured – The Morn Hill War Memorial
Castle Yard, The Great Hall, Castle Avenue, Winchester, Hampshire.
Winchester was a main transit point for troops on their way to the Western Front during World War I. Many barrack huts were built on Morn Hill and it is estimated that the camps there woud have accommodated more than 50,000 troops. Over a million soldiers passed through Winchester between 1914 and 1918.
Artist’s commentary: ‘My memorial to the troops who passed through Winchester during the First World War is situated outside the Great Hall, in Castle Yard. It honours a promise made by the Mayor of Winchester in 1919 to commemorate the American soldiers and soldiers from around the world billeted on the hills around Winchester. Unusually for a war memorial this is designed not only to record deaths. I didn’t want the sculpture to look like a war memorial so this ultimately led to a still-life carving. The memorial depicts a soldier’s kit left on a railway bench. The kit is consciously life-size so anyone can sit on the bench and engage with the sculpture and create their own narrative.’
10. ALISON WILDING RA
Alison Wilding was born in 1948 and currently lives and works in London. She studied at Nottingham College of Art, Nottingham, Ravensbourne College of Art and Design, Bromley and the Royal College of Art, London. Wilding’s first major solo exhibition was held at the Serpentine Gallery, London, in 1985 and other solo shows include Tate Britain, 2013 and the New Art Centre, Roche Court Sculpture Park, Salisbury, 2011. Wilding has been in many group exhibitions such as Making it, Sculpture in Britain 1977-1986, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, 2015, Camden Arts Centre, 2014 and Leeds Art Gallery in 2012. The artist has works in public collections nationally, such as Cass Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood, Tate Collection, London and the V&A, London; and internationally in institutions such as Musée des Beaux Arts Calais, France, and The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Notable awards include a Henry Moore Fellowship at the British School at Rome in 1988, Joanna Drew Travel Bursary in 2007, The Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award in 2008 and the Bryan Robertson Award in 2012. Wilding was nominated for the Turner Prize in both 1988 and 1992, and was elected to the Royal Academy in 1999.
Shortlisted work: Shimmy
10, New Burlington Street, London.
Shimmy is a permanent installation which was commissioned by the Crown Estate and Exemplar for the interior reception area of 10 New Burlington Street, London W1. It is characteristic of Wildings’ instinctive feel for and engagement with materials.
Artist’s commentary: ‘My immediate response to the building plans was that the artwork needed to “dance” in its allotted space. I want the work to have a sense of the organic, extending into a space but simultaneously reabsorbed into it.’