In the footsteps of Barbara Hepworth…

…Or to be more accurate, Dennis Mitchell, one of her best known assistants.

mejamesmayorTurns out that there used to be a sculpture at the entrance courtyard to St Nicholas Court, St Ives, Cornwall by Dennis Mitchell, a sculptor whose work I greatly admire. Legend has it that a young lad got his head stuck in it and that it was subsequently sold (in the 1970’s) – victim of early ‘health and safety’ no doubt! The space has been waiting for a new sculpture ever since…drillingkevjames

builderssurfI’ve done two earlier posts on this project to do with working up the commission and scaling up so I won’t repeat myself here, but focus on the final stages and the unveiling.

The final full size plaster sculpture of ‘Free Spirit’ was taken off to LS Sculpture Casting and some weeks later I collected the bronze resin casts which we treated with chemicals to accelerate the patination process – resulting in a gorgeous verdigris patina which will just get more blue-green with age, especially in the salt sea air of St Ives…

detailI have to say that LS did a cracking job and I couldn’t have been happier with the results  http://www.lssculpturecasting.com/

I stayed in St Ives in the run up to the installation and unveiling in order to oversee the erection of the plinth and the delivery of the slate from Delabole – all quite nerve racking but exciting too.  They did a great job and the slate itself is gorgeous with the memorial inscription to Kenneth Lindon-Travers nice and bold.mesmilinglooking

It all took a while so I didn’t get to install the sculpture itself until the afternoon before the unveiling (yikes!).  It all came together nicely though and there was a great gathering for the unveiling ceremony – James said some words about his father and the Mayor did his bit with a flourish…mayor

All in all a truly wonderful experience – a rare opportunity and a real honour to have a sculpture in my beloved St Ives and I was chuffed to bits to have my Dad there and my wife and our two boys to witness it all (and to remind me that it actually happened!).

meinside

 

mayorgreeting

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6 Responses to In the footsteps of Barbara Hepworth…

  1. Henri says:

    Hi Gary….we where there, me, mike and our puppy Molly…staying at st Nicholas court the week before last!! I remember seeing the plinth by the gate…
    Brilliant sculpture…It looks so right and in the spirit of lovely st ives.
    Do you have a place down there yet?
    Hope having a great holiday with your family& hope the sun is shinning bright down there! Though it’s fantastic whatever the weather.
    I hope to get back in June……I have an open studio in 2wks time so depends a bit on how well that goes.
    Best of luck with your continuing success
    Hugs from
    Henri 🙂 ( westwood…met at art academy,first year)

  2. Pingback: Diploma Graduate Completes Commission | The Art Academy - London

  3. David&Lynne says:

    Hi Gary
    Looks fab and thank you for your lovely comments about our work.
    Look forward to working with you again in the near future.

    David Lynne and all the team a LS Sculpture Casting

  4. Christine greenslade says:

    I really love this Piece! And wonderful that it’s in a place all can see. Congratulations.

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