Noor Inayat Khan, GC, MBE
A bronze, half life-size version of my Gordon Square Memorial sculpture (featured below) of the SOE Heroine, acquired in April 2017 by The British Museum.
This reduced size work is now part of their permanent collection. It is displayed, with her George Cross, in the newly refurbished, Sir Joseph Hotung Galleries of China and South Asia.
Opened in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen, 8th November 2017.
I have made some tiny adjustments in the modelling, in the transition to the smaller scale, to some areas of the work. The patina makes reference to the pale colour of my original small working model and to the patination of the larger bronze in Bloomsbury.
The bronze is mounted on two blocks of Portland stone.
The height of the bronze is 13'' A limited edition will be available.
Noor Inayat Khan, GC, Croix de Guerre
The bronze memorial and the painted resin. From archive photos, 2012.
The memorial to Noor (1914-1944), the World War II SOE Heroine, in Gordon Square, Bloomsbury, London.
A gentle musician and writer of children's stories, she was dropped into occupied Paris and worked sending coded messages back to the UK. She was betrayed and arrested by the Gestapo. She had been the only wireless operator remaining in Paris, most of her circuit of Agents had already been captured. She refused to return to London despite the danger to herself. She did not release any information and was executed after 11 months in captivity.
I wanted to make some art historical references from the year of her birth and about the turmoil of the times. Adding vigour to the quiet contemplative nature of the portrait in the way I have expressed the clothing from the different periods in her life.
The light coloured patina is to both read the portrait at the site underneath the trees and because this seemed the right choice for the work.
The photographs show the bronze cast for the Memorial and the resin version.
Commissioned by The Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust, it was unveiled by Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne, 8th November 2012.
32.5 x 28 x 18 inches.
Terracotta plaque. From a painting and a drawing, 2010.
The portrait of William Vincent, Headmaster of Westminster School and later Dean of Westminster Abbey, was commissioned by The Vincent Square Residents' Association in 2009, to commemorate the Bicentenary of his allocating the grounds of Vincent Square as playing fields for the School. It is based on a painting by Willam Owen, Court painter to the Prince Regent, and a preparatory drawing. It is located at 56 Vincent Square, Pimlico in Central London. I chose terracotta to fit in with the colours of the brickwork to look like it has always been there.
My brief was to show his deeply difficult personality. He was a Classics scholar, and wrote several books on Latin. He was known for his brutal speed in using corporal punishment on his pupils and for the phrase ‘’Eloquere puer Eloquere’’ which translates as ‘’Speak out boy!”
Images also show the working model and maquette in Jesmonite.
Dr. Samir Eid
Bronze on bronze base. From sittings and photos, 2014.
This portrait head was commissioned by one of his sons. His family were kind and as helpful as possible throughout the commission and beyond. 4 bronze casts were requested.
The first cast of the late Dr. Eid was shown at the Society of Portrait Sculptors annual exhibition in London during May 2014.
Scale: life and a quarter and life size. 51H x 25.5W x 37D including base.
Violette Szabo GC
Bronze. From archive photographs.
I was commissioned to make a sculpture of this heroine of World War II portrayed circa 1944. It is a one and a half times life-size head and shoulders.
There are very few surviving photos of her, just a few indistinct, smiling family snaps and two or three glamorous studio photos. The monument is situated outside Lambeth Palace, facing The Houses of Parliament, in central London.
The sculpture for the SOE Agents Monument was unveiled by His Grace The Duke of Wellington on the Albert Embankment 4th October 2009.
36 x 33 x 17 inches.
Bronze Maquette. From archive photographs, 2007.
I was asked to make this portrait maquette of Nancy Wake by her friends and supporters in 2007. Later I was commissioned to produce two bronze casts, one of which was presented by my commissioner to The Stafford Hotel in St. James Place, London, in 2008. Nancy Wake lived for some time at The Stafford when she returned to London after the war.
She was nicknamed ‘The White Mouse’ for her ability to evade capture. She was uncompromising and almost recklessly heroic yet loved by her friends for her huge sense of fun and honourable history. She was the most decorated of S.O.E. women heroines. She led hundreds of escapees through to safety from occupied France . There are few surviving photos of Nancy from the 1940’s period. When I took this maquette to show to her she said “beautiful…beautiful!” in quite a fierce voice. I wanted to give a sense of urgency and purpose in my portrait, like she had paused briefly for the photographer. Towards the end of the time of working on this portrait there seemed to be tears in her expression. I was surprised this had crept in - due to her fearlessness, still apparent in her last years. I was able to visit her a few times along with her closest friends and sometimes she would be crying with laughter. There was also her depth of feeling and dismay for what she had seen and the brutal loss of the love of her life Henry Fiocca.
Edition of 7, 33 x 31 x 18cm.
Bronze Resin for Bronze. From sittings, 2008.
A portrait head of the distinguished and celebrated actor. Although not a commission, Charles kindly agreed to sit for me periodically over several years. I also worked from a series of photos. It was shown at the Society of Portrait Sculptors annual exhibition in Cork Street, London in 2008.
Roger Daltrey of 'The Who'
Bronze. From sittings, 1977
Having been commissioned to produce a one-inch portrait head of Roger Daltrey for a holographic image, I subsequently asked him to sit for a full size portrait head. We did a series of sittings. The finished head is bronze. It was shown at The Institute of Contemporary Arts, (ICA) in London, 1978. This was an exhibition about "The Who". Roger Daltrey is the lead singer.
As a result of the journalist John Blake writing about this head in The Evening news, 1978, Madame Tussauds invited me to work for them.
Plaster and Bronze. From sittings, 2002
The images shown are of a pigmented plaster cast, the last image is a closeup of the bronze. Vivien’s family purchased the first cast which was shown at the Society of Portrait Sculptors Annual Exhibition in Cork Street.
A shy and quiet child, she was very keen to be modeling in clay, drawing or reading during the sittings. She produced many household items in clay including a dolls fried breakfast. She was patient and lovely.
I wanted to contrast the classical treatment of her face with a faceted and slightly more abstracted approach to the hair. The integral base indicates shoulders without being too literal.
Limited edition of 5.
Pigmented and painted plaster. From sittings, 2000.
My neighbour Andrew. I worked on this over a long period, reacting to many elements of his personality, moods and expressions. What interests me is to try to achieve a more complex portrait. With a fractional shift of viewing angle and light, his characteristics become apparent.
Andrew did his best to infuse our sittings with his personality. He was very focused. The integral base is a reference to a slight disruption to Andrew’s clavicle which causes him to hold his head at a slight angle. We visited the Bonnard at the Tate that year which is reflected in the painting of the base.
This piece is available in bronze or painted pigmented plaster.
Limited edition of 4.
The clay and the bronze on bronze base. From sittings, 1997
Founder of "BOOKS Etc. "
The late Mr. Phillip Joseph sat for this portrait. I worked exclusively from live sittings in order to try to capture his humour, charm, and intellect. It was purchased by his wife with a request for two further casts.
This work was exhibited at The Society of Portrait Sculptors show in Cork Street, London in 1997.
Clay for Bronze. From photographs and 2 sittings, 2001.
This is a portrait bust of the longest serving Whitehouse press secretary to former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush Senior. He later became a novelist. We exchanged a lively and stimulating correspondence by e-mail during the construction of his portrait, which reminded me so much of the book '84 Charing Cross Road', cataloguing a similar Transatlantic exchange. He sent me a heartfelt and appreciative letter on receiving his portrait. He called it "the most wonderful, remarkable, magnificent, rewarding portrait imaginable." He was an exceptional man of great humour and high intellect.
He chose to be portrayed without his glasses. It is on a bronze base.
The portrait bust was made originally for a new wing, named after him, for a school in New Hampshire.
Bronze on bronze base. From sittings, 2005.
This is a portrait commissioned by his wife as a retirement gift to him. He is a man of highly developed musical knowledge and a keen and skilled photographer of plants. He is humorous, generous, and strong willed. He has had great success in his business life and charitable works. This portrait bust was shown at the Society of Portrait Sculptors annual exhibition, Cork Street, London in 2001.
I worked almost entirely from life.
Bronze. From photographic reference, 1997.
The bronze ducks are freestanding, faceted, and tactile. They are about human susceptibility. Here arranged as I intended them to sit, they will also work in a variety of ways. Although in principle an edition of 9, each pair is unique as they are all hand finished by me in the bronze. The patination varies with each pair.
Edition of 9
Bronze on Belgian fossil stone. From photographic reference, 2002.
I wanted to express the tranquility of the Dolphins swimming along underwater together. The baby, although almost touching the mother, still pulling away.
I was fortunate to find a special slab of Belgian Fossil stone which had a splash of Fossil in exactly the required place, which I thought redolent of the sea bed.
Dimensions: 58 x 35 x 33 inches
Limited edition of 9
Resin for Bronze. From life models, 2015.
'Diving into a dream'
This image of the figure of The Diver shows the re-worked working model in white resin for bronze.
The working model was shown on a polished, two tiered Gesso base at La Galleria May 2015, The Royal Opera Arcade, Pall Mall. London.
Dimensions: 29 x 7 x 16 inches
The Base: 1.5 x 5.75 x 11 inches
Limited edition of 9
Bronze. From photographs and memory, 1985.
This small head of my grandfather, Samuel Geller, was made posthumously 2 years after his death. I worked on it for a number of years, from tiny snapshots and memory.
It was exhibited at the Society of Portrait Sculptors annual show in Cork Street, London in 1996. It is on a stone base.