The Conductor: 2018

Commissioned by Sedbergh School

After seeing the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in concert some years ago, I had been mesmerised by the conductor.

Putting it down on my ‘wish list’ of future projects, I vowed one day that I would create a sculpture that would capture the energy and enthusiasm he had demonstrated that evening.

I was thrilled when the opportunity arose to design something for a music studio in a Cumbrian school. The maquette that I presented for selection, even at less that 10 inches in height, expressed perfectly what I was trying to put across, and the decision of the panel was unanimous. 

The setting for the statue, underneath a high verandah and placed on a large stone plinth meant that my figure needed to grand and imposing. I felt that to convey the stature of a musical conductor, and taking in to account the tones and textures of the space, the sculpture needed to refinished in pure gold plate.

My lasting impression of seeing the performance all those years ago had made me realise how crucial the conductor’s role was. How he seemed to pour himself out in o his orchestra, and how his guidance helped the harmony and total fluidity of the music.

To communicate this I decided to show an ‘emptying out’ by using resin which I poured through his body and allowed to flow out freely through his feet and pool around the plinth. It looked like molten metal, and this was exactly how I wanted it to be.

The upper part of his body was then left drained and hollowed, a mesh shell capturing his ethereal spirit, in my own unique style.

Gold plating the entire sculpture in 24 carat gold was the perfect finish and a process I really loved doing.