British Sculptor Laurence Edwards – New Works in Australia

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Laurence Edwards at work, courtesy artist and Mossgreen, Melbourne

Having received England’s Royal Society of Portrait Sculpture Award in 2005, British Sculptor Laurence Edwards of Suffolk held both solo and group exhibitions.

They have revealed the genius of his extraordinary sculptural works in bronze, which embrace traditional methods while exploring an ‘alchemy of bronze casting’.

Laurence Edwards New Works will be on show for the second time here in Australia at Mossgreen Gallery in Armadale, Melbourne 26th March – 7th April, 2015.

They will also be on show at Martyn Cook Galleries in Rushcutters Bay, Sydney 16th – 29th April. 2015.

Last time he was here in 2013, Laurence Edwards’ works sold out.

Enthusiasts and students of sculpture are sure to be present again.

This creative man’s reputation for excellence in the exploration of pathos in the human form in the sculptural tradition now precedes his ‘new works’.

Man of Stones

Laurence Edwards, Man of Stones, Bronze series of 4, 2012, photo Doug Atfield, courtesy artist, Messum’s Gallery and Mossgreen, Melbourne

Edwards ‘Man of Stones’ is captivating with its enquiring look and air of serenity, despite being weighed down by the detritus of our times.

His exploration and interpretation of sculptural form is at the cutting edge of changes in the world of art, reflecting its fashions and passions.

A bursary received 1988 – 1990 named for 20th century English sculptor Henry Moore (1898-1986) enabled Edwards to travel to the Indian subcontinent to study and learn bronze casting methods.

This ensures that today he’s a rare individual sculptural artist working in bronze, one who is able to take his imagined works all the way from conception to conclusion.

Edwards works in a complex of workshops and studio buildings in the countryside with assistants and various students from art colleges across the world.

They are learning the techniques of founding and how to work with all the seasons.

Open to the elements in many places, as Edwards pummels the clay of his moulds it is invaded by seeds, bird droppings and other fragments arriving on the breeze and leaving indelible traces of our times.

Laurence Edwards famous ‘Creek Men’ were created in 2008 and towed on a symbolic voyage up the River Alde to the Aldeburgh Festival.

They appear to have just emerged like their ancestors from the marsh to re-claim the land.

They have earned him a reputation for ‘finding the form within the mould’ and for combining the mythic with contemporary practice.

Walk ON

Laurence Edwards ‘Walk Away’, photo by Doug Atfield, courtesy artist, Messum’s Gallery and Mossgreen, Melbourne

Elected a ‘Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 2012 Laurence Edwards has helped to bring sculptural works back to the forefront of art.

His strong grasp of form and technical mastery’ caused Christopher Le Brun, President of the Royal Academy of Arts, London to comment that he Edwards had successfully blurred ‘the boundaries between man and nature’.

In 2012-2013 Edwards was commissioned to complete twelve ‘Chimpanzee sculptures for the atrium in a new office development in London.

After all they were the spark that first ignited our exploration of human evolution in bronze and marble.

Laurence Edwards installation of the Chimpanzees happened at ‘Dryland’ took place in June 2013 in Kensington.

Then  in 2014 Edwards was involved in a ‘three man show at the Royal Society of Sculptors.

Living in Suffolk, an outstanding ‘creative’ county of great natural beauty in East Anglia, where the historic tribe the Angles originally settled, must provide this artist with endless ideas and subject possibilities.

This is a land in flux.

It reflects the doctrine of Greek Philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus (near modern Kusadasi in Turkey).

Man of the Earth

Laurence Edwards, Loaded, Bronze, photo by Doug Atfield, courtesy artist, Messum’s Gallery and Mossgreen, Melbourne

Around 500 BCE sprouted his famous theory that everything is in a constant state of flux (you can never step into the same river twice), expressing his views on human form in his book On Nature.

He was recording his thoughts at a time when art and man were moving forward into the future together.

Walking Men

Laurence Edwards ‘Walking Men’ Maquettes, Bronze, photo by Doug Atfield, courtesy artist, Messum’s Gallery and Mossgreen, Melbourne

Then the apparent unity and stability of the world concealed a dynamic tension between opposites, and although the interpretation of these doctrines is controversial, nonetheless they continue to have an impact.

The siting of his studio in Suffolk for Edwards offers him a view of a visual paradise in which transformation and changes of state are integral to what he produces,

The countryside contains a wealth of organic material for him to draw upon.

Edwards 3

Laurence Edwards, The Catcher, Bronze, photo by Doug Atfield, courtesy artist, Messum’s Gallery and Mossgreen, Melbourne

Seeds, rushes, grasses, branches, mud and decaying oak trees from ancient woodland become infused into some of this works met morphing them into another incarnation.

Some have happened accidentally providing humour about ‘challenging the gods’. They then became integral to their form.

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Laurence Edwards, Healing Hands, Bronze, photo by Doug Atfield, courtesy artist, Messum’s Gallery and Mossgreen, Melbourne

Mainly agricultural, Suffolk is powerfully spiritual place with its low lying hills and arable land where the ‘south folk’ once lived.

It also meets the wetlands of The Broads in the land of the corresponding ‘north folk’.

People have lived in the area from the Stone Age to Bronze and Iron Ages, with numerous archaeological bronze objects recovered, telling a story of the people who used them.

This is the land where the famed Sutton Hoo treasure was found.

The show in Australia has been made possible by Mossgreen’s alliance with London art dealers Messum’s.

This is all about reigniting and re-establishing the links between the British and Australian art market.

Both independent specialists, they see themselves as offering the market a viable alternative to single international companies with offices around the world.

Martyn Cook, of Martyn Cook Galleries, Sydney who represents Mossgreen, is looking forward to the arrival of these wonderful works in that city. He said to us that he ‘believes Laurence Edwards works are extraordinary, with an ethereal air – I hope they all haven’t sold before they come to me”, Martyn said.

Furnace 2

In the workshop, Laurence Edwards, courtesy artist, Messum’s Gallery and Mossgreen, Melbourne

In a time honoured tradition Laurence Edwards’s simple artist’s statement notes that…

Edwards Thinker

Laurence Edwards, Crouching Man, Bronze Life Size figure, photo by Doug Atfield, courtesy artist, Messum’s Gallery and Mossgreen, Melbourne

‘… my main concern is the male figure. I often relate these figures to my immediate environment and sometimes place them in it’.

Laurence Edwards declares he works ‘primarily in clay. Once the sculptures are in wax, I then introduce organic matter or break them and collage the pieces together’.

All sounds so simple really, but it does blur the fact that the world Edwards inhabits on a daily basis is often brutal, hard, hot and exhausting.

Edwards’s pieces achieve a wonderful spontaneity, as he de-constructs an ancient craft and re-imagines the relationship between the world of antique bronze sculpture and contemporary works.

He does use the ‘lost wax method’ from antiquity and his works reflect and support the notion that his images are created around who and what people are.

He certainly values empathy and his works are a microcosm of the macrocosm – a small complete expression of the vastness of nature.

Walk Away Detail

Laurence Edwards, detail, Walk Away, photo by Doug Atfield, courtesy artist, Messum’s Gallery and Mossgreen, Melbourne

Above all, Laurence Edwards blends interesting and tactile elements to create a wonderful array of sculptures, stimulating our mind to seek out and discover their subtlety

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2015

Messum’s Gallery and Mossgreen Gallery present

Laurence Edwards New Works

Mossgreen Gallery,

High Street Armadale, Melbourne
26th March – 7th April, 2015.

Martyn Cook Galleries,

98 Barcom Avenue,
Rushcutters Bay, Sydney
16th – 29th April. 2015.

Laurence Edwards New Works – Download Catalogue


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