Ethel Pye: recollections and images from her nephew
Ethel Pye (1882-1955) was a sculptor and jewellery maker, who was most active in the period between the two world wars. She studied at the Royal College of Art and exhibited with Henry Moore and Jacob Epstein. She was essentially a stone carver but also modelled in clay, firing her own work. Her work was primarily concerned with the human figure, and she also sculpted a number of notable portraits, including one of Jacques Raverat, husband of Gwen, the wood engraver. Ethel was a member of the ‘neo pagans’ with the poet, Rupert Brooke.
William Pye, known for his early work in stainless steel and subsequent water sculptures, talks about his aunt Ethel Pye and recollects meeting her for the first time and the effect this encounter had upon him. He will show photographs of her and examples of her work that he has collected together.
William Pye‘s career as a sculptor spans over sixty years. A visit to his aunt Ethel Pye at the age of 10 was so inspiring that he decided to be a sculptor and went on to study at the Royal College of Art. He worked mainly in stainless steel and cast bronze and since the 1980s water has become an integral and crucial element of his work, which is found in public places, private gardens and corporate clients internationally. Some of his best known work in the UK are the font at Salisbury Cathedral and eight water pieces at Alnwick Castle.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Sculptors and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.