'A Life in Bronze'

To visit Sally Arnup in her Yorkshire studio is to enter an enchanted world. The first thing you encounter is the sheer vitality of an artist who has been creating extraordinary sculptures continuously since leaving the Camberwell School of Art in the late 1950s. The second thing you encounter is the menagerie with which she shares her home, one barn owl, three Tawney owls, a long eared rabbit, a flock of sheep, a brood of chickens and an excitable English pointer called Phidias. Let there be no doubt about it, Sally Arnup adores animals and birds and it is this passion that fires her creativity and inspires her work.

Sally will only sculpt from life so the studio needs to be spacious enough to accommodate all her subjects, both large and small.  A bag of hay in the corner testifies to the fact that horses are regular visitors to the studio. Her most famous equestrian piece was the Duke of Edinburgh's fell pony, "Storm", a commission that involved her in travelling to the stables at Windsor Castle. Indeed, her work can be found in some of the most illustrious collections in the land and her clients have included everyone from Her Majesty the Queen, the Earl of Chichester and Robert Fleming to the University of York and the Vintner's Company in London.

On a technical level, Sally is very enthusiastic when explaining her love of bronze and the way in which she uses the "lost wax" process to create her wonderful pieces.  Every stage of the process is performed by Sally; she sculpts the clay, makes the moulds, prepares the waxes and finishes the bronzes.  The final casting is done locally at the foundry but once back at the studio Sally sets to work giving each piece an individual patination. It is little wonder that she is one of the foremost animal sculptors of our age.

Sally has expressed great delight at returning to Kensington for her first solo London exhibition in over a decade. She spent her formative years living just off Kensington Church Street and, when only two years old, had her head patted by the illustrious Augustus John whilst out for a walk in Kensington Gardens; a sure sign of one great artistic talent acknowledging another! We are equally delighted to be welcoming Sally back to Kensington and privileged to be showing such a wonderful selection of her work.

The exhibition runs from 24th September- 4th October at our Kensington Church Street showrooms.



August 10, 2015 — Peter Alexander