London show for sculptor’s work

Two Norfolk people will be represented in London in June when Dereham-based sculptor Neal French has his work on display at the annual exhibition of the Society of Portrait Sculptors.

Two Norfolk people will be represented in London in June when Dereham-based sculptor Neal French has his work on display at the annual exhibition of the Society of Portrait Sculptors.

Neal who is a Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors and Emeritus Professor of Ceramics at Middlesex University will be showing two heads cast in bronze modelled from MP Charles Clarke and Hester King, the Dutch-born wife of arts patron and businessman Paul King.

The creation of the bronze of Charles Clarke was done for the 50th anniversary exhibition of the Society called 'Making Faces' which was held at The Forum in Norwich last September to coincide with the British Association meeting held in Norwich.

The whole process of modelling the head was filmed for the exhibition from start to finish, showing a ball of clay emerging finally as the finished work.

Neal explains: “I did a dry run by using a friend as the model and the plan was to stop every two minutes so that the work could be viewed on film from 24 different angles.

“When it came to the real work with Charles we did it at his office in Norwich and once again I had to stop every two minutes.

Most Read

“It was done at a particularly hectic time for him so while I was working he was taking phone calls, making them and dictating letters all around me. All in all it took about six hours to complete the work and he was very patient with me.

“Paul King saw the finished work at the Norwich exhibition and immediately commissioned me to sculpt the head of Hester which we did over two days and it would seem Paul and the family are pleased with the result.

“It is always a bit like walking a tightrope when you produce a head, as you are always looking for that elusive thing called likeness and often it is in the smallest details of a face,” Neal added.

The exhibition will be at The Gallery, Cork Street in London from June 11 to 15.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter