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Featured Artist

 

Neal French, British Portrait sculptor

 

Neal French is a much respected sculptor in the UK and beyond. The human portrait is often the subject of his work, but he has a natural inclination to simplify. Nevertheless the resulting sculptures manifest powerful aspects of his chosen subjects and emphasises the importance of expressing the natural tension in the stance of a person.

 

Stuart Williamson
Co-Founder of the PSSA

 

Neal French on his sculpture of Hester & Paul King OBE


Hester and Paul are good friends of ours, and great patrons of the arts. 

I asked him for photographs (which I normally don’t work from) of the two of them together and he provided a few - all very similar, he slightly stooping and her very upright, bag or coat, on left arm, one leg advanced.   Always he on the left, she on the right. So choice of pose was predetermined, they clearly always stood like that!

I did a couple of maquettes in terra cotta with minor variations of the
pose, got one approved, and then modelled for bronze.   The treatment arose directly from two things, my knowledge of them as people, and my natural tendency to simplify.   Much of my work is in press-moulded ceramic, where a figure has been withdrawn from a two piece mould, which naturally leads to simplification, and although here there was no such constraint, I always concentrate on the big forms that are characteristic of the person and on silhouette and balance, which also leads to a degree of simplification.
A look at my website might show what I mean. However likeness, in the sense of identity, is crucial.   On this piece it worked pretty well.

Neal French

Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors

Member of the Society of Portrait sculptors UK

http://www.nealfrench.co.uk

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