Skip to main content

Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Charles Hadcock (b. 1965)

Sculptor born in Derby, now based in Lancashire. He studied at Gloucester College of Arts and Technology, 1984–87, and the RCA, 1987–89. In April 2007 he received the Queens Award for Enterprise Promotion. In 2008 was made a fellow of the RBS (solo exhibition at RBS in 2009). Other solo exhibitions include Reed’s Wharf Gallery, 1996; University of Essex, 1997; Canary Wharf, 2003 and 2011; and Encounter Contemporary, 2014 (in Threadneedle Street) and 2016 (in Mayfair). In 2014, Hadcock was commissioned as a Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire. Public sculptures include Passacaglia, 1998, Brighton Sea Front; Caesura VI, 2000, Holland Park; Adagio, 2007, Salford Quays, Greater Manchester; and Helisphere, 2009, and Torsion II, 2009–11, Heron Quays and Bank Street respectively, Isle of Dogs. Hadcock’s abstract sculptures reflect his interest in geology, engineering, industrial processes, mathematics and geometry, the titles often reflecting his love of poetry and music.

Sources: Charles Hadcock website; Buckman, D., Artists in Britain since 1945 (2 vols: A–L, M–Z), Bristol, 2006.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

Emmeline Halse (1853–1930)

Sculptor born in Bayswater, London, a daughter of the sculptor George Halse. Shortly after her birth, the family moved to 15 Clarendon Road, Notting Hill, where her father built a sculpture studio which he encouraged his daughter to use. After learning the basics with her father, Halse studied, from 1876 to the early 1880s at the RA Schools, where, in 1877, 1878 and 1880, she won silver medals and in 1883 a second prize of £10 for a model of a design – this despite her training being restricted to copying from plaster casts of classical sculpture, owing to the exclusion of women students from the life classes until 1903. Following the RA Schools, Halse went to Paris, where she studied under the neo-classical sculptor, Frédéric Louis Désiré Bogino. At some time during the 1880s or ’90s (perhaps in Paris), Halse met her close friend the painter Helen Trevor, whose letters to her she published – after Trevor’s death – as Ramblings of an Artist (1901). Halse exhibited regularly at the RA (32 pieces from 1878 to 1920), Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts (22 pieces) and Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (12 pieces), plus the Paris Salon (four pieces). Most of her works were small-scale domestic subjects or portraits; her most significant work, the reredos, 1889–90, for the Church of St John the Evangelist, Lansdowne Crescent, Notting Hill, she carried out without payment.

Sources: E. Farningham, Emmeline Halse, Sculptor 1853–1930, 2002 (unpublished; National Art Library, ref. 608.AD.0307); ‘Halse, Emmeline’, King’s College London: Victorian Lives; Mapping Sculpture.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

Harry Hems (1842–1916)

Ecclesiastical and architectural sculptor, born in London. He initially worked as a cutler, following the trade of both his father and grandfather, but subsequently learnt wood and stone carving, honing his skills in London and Italy. His first major contract was for the architectural carving on the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter (1866–68). He at first took lodgings near the museum but eventually settled permanently in the city, establishing a flourishing workshop, the Ecclesiastical Art Works. In 1868, Hems married and in 1877, his son Wilfred, who would succeed his father as head of the firm, was born. The firm showed, and were usually recipients of medals and prizes, at the Centennial International Exhibition, Philadelphia (1876), the Exposition Universelle, Paris (1878), the Chicago World Fair (1893) and the Antwerp Exhibition (1894). For Exeter, Hems designed the Livery Dole Martyrs’ Memorial, 1909, but the commissions considered by contemporaries to be his most important were the restoration, for Sir Arthur Blomfield, of the high altar screen, 1884–99, at St Albans Cathedral, Herts, and the design and execution of the reredos, 1912, for St Louis Cathedral, USA.

Sources: Daily Mail, 6 January 1916, p. 3; ‘Harry Hems – ecclesiastical sculptor and wood carver’ (updated 1 March 2019), Exeter Memories; Mapping Sculpture; The Times, 8 January 1916, p. 3.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

Harry Hems in his studio in Longbrook Street in Exeter, Devon, on 12 June 1896. He is carving a grotesque for one of the pedestals at the bottom of the grand staircase in the Municipal Corporation Building, Mumbai, India (photo: public domain).

Sean Henry (b. 1965)

Sculptor born in Woking, Surrey. After a foundation course at Farnham School of Art & Design, 1982, he took a degree course in ceramics at Bristol Polytechnic, 1984–87. In 1990–91, he was Visiting Artist at the University of California. His earlier works were mostly in fired clay, but in 1994 he used bronze for the first time. In 1998, he won the Villiers David Prize, the first sculptor to do so. Henry has exhibited widely both in the UK and abroad. He had his first solo exhibition in 1988 at the Anatol Orient Gallery, Portobello Road. Major solo exhibitions include ‘Sean Henry Sculpture’, RBS, London, 2009, and Forum Gallery, New York, 2010; and ‘Conflux: a union of the sacred and the anonymous’, Salisbury Cathedral, 2011. His public sculptures include Walking Man, 1998, Holland Park; Man with Potential Selves, 2003, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne; the 13m-high Couple, 2007, the UK’s first permanent offshore sculpture, in Newbiggin Bay, Northumberland; Standing Man, 2010, Stockholm; Lying Man, 2011, Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Michigan, USA; and four figures at various sites in his birthplace, Woking, 2018. In addition, Henry was commissioned to provide a nine-figure installation inside One Basinghall Avenue (Standard Chartered Bank HQ), City of London in 2008; further casts of one of these figures, Walking Woman, were subsequently sited in Oslo, Norway; Bad Homburg, Germany; and Colchester, Essex (this last being paired with Man with a Cup in 2017). In 2015, Henry was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to create a painted bronze portrait of Sir Tim Berners Lee S(founder of the World Wide Web). Henry is a figurative sculptor whose works, despite their compelling presence, are not truly lifelike, being characteristically under- or over-life-size, the vigorous modelling of the surfaces and fluid application of paint clearly asserting their hand-crafted natures.

Sources: Sean Henry website; Flynn, T., Sean Henry, London, 2008.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

Vernon Hill (1887–1972)

Sculptor, draughtsman, illustrator and lithographer, born in Halifax, Yorkshire. He was resident in London from about 1908, working for the publisher John Lane, illustrating, for example, The Arcadian Calendar, 1910, and Stephen Phillips’s The New Inferno, 1911. After the First World War, he worked chiefly as a sculptor, much of his most important work being for Sir Edward Maufe: for example, Guildford Cathedral, 1932–56, executing, inter alia, the memorial to John Harold Greig over the inside of the sacristy door, the figure of St Ursula over the inside of St Ursula’s porch, and the bronze reliefs on the doors of the south entrance; St Thomas the Apostle, Hanwell, 1934, where he carved the doves over the north door, and within, a Virgin and Child and a font; St John’s College, Cambridge, where he carved a coat-of-arms for the north court, 1938–40; St Columba’s Church of Scotland, Pont Street, Chelsea, where he executed all the decorative carving, plus a figure of the saint over the main entrance, 1950–54; and the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial, where he carved stone figures representing Courage, Victory and Justice (completed 1953). Hill also executed six figures for the interior of John Edward Dixon-Spain’s St Joan of Arc RC church at Farnham, 1930: St Joan of Arc; St George; St Joseph and the Holy Child; the Virgin and Child; St Margaret; and St Catherine. Hill was included in the Fine Art Society’s 1986 exhibition, ‘Sculpture in Britain Between the Wars’. In 1972, the artist’s widow bequeathed to the Southampton City Art Gallery a large collection of her husband’s drawings and etchings.

Sources: Buckman, D., Artists in Britain since 1945 (2 vols: A–L, M–Z), Bristol, 2006; Mapping Sculpture; relevant volumes from Pevsner’s ‘Buildings of England’ series.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

Vincent Hill (born c.1880; active 1900–46)

Sculptor born in Cardiff. He studied at the RCA under Lantéri. A decorative panel he had submitted for a college exercise on the subject of Art was illustrated in the Arts & Crafts Magazine, 1904. In the following year, he was one of the sculpture students selected by Lantéri to execute a figure, in his case John Constable, for Aston Webb’s new façade of the V&A Museum. In 1906, Lantéri seconded Goscombe John’s nomination of Hill’s membership of the RBS. Hill exhibited at the RA once in 1908, giving his address as 29 Mimosa Street, Fulham. By the 1920s, he had moved to Beverley, Yorkshire, and in 1921 he carved the four seated figures around the base of R.H. Whiteing’s Beverley War Memorial.

Main sources: Mapping Sculpture; Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, 1769–2018 – a Chronicle. Index.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

Simon Hitchens (b. 1967)

Sculptor of abstract forms born in Sussex, now based in Somerset. His father John (b. 1940), grandfather Ivon (1893–1979) and great-grandfather Alfred (1861–1942) were all painters. Simon Hitchens studied at West Surrey College of Art & Design, 1985–86, and Bristol Polytechnic’s faculty of art and design, 1987–90, where he gained a degree in sculpture. He was assistant to sculptors Peter Randall-Page, 1990, and Anish Kapoor, 1993–96. The British Council selected Hitchens for sculpture symposiums in Slovakia, 1994, and Colombia, 1996. In 1998, he was elected ARBS. In the same year, four of his sculptures were bought for the Hiscox Plc art collection, London. In 1999, he executed his first publicly sited sculpture, Quiet Understanding, granite, for Conquest Hospital, Hastings. Other public sculptures include Coastline, 2005, granite and resin, Workington, Cumbria; Parallel Presence, 2007, granite, Limeharbour, Isle of Dogs, London; From Dawn until Dusk, 2008, granite, Boscombe Pier, Bournemouth; Transition Point, 2013, granite and polished stainless steel, Leys School, Cambridge; Unity, 2013, granite and blue resin, King’s Cross, London; Glorious Beauty, 2014, a glacial boulder and a stainless steel cast, Kensington High Street; and The Space Between, 2015, granite, Forbury Place, Reading.

Sources: Simon Hitchens website; Buckman, D., Artists in Britain since 1945 (2 vols: A–L, M–Z), Bristol, 2006.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

Simon Hitchens, December 2021 (photo:©A.K.Purkiss)

Albert Hemstock Hodge (1875–1917)

Sculptor born on Islay. He initially trained as an architect in Glasgow with William Leiper, afterwards entering Glasgow School of Art, where he won a gold medal, silver medal and four bronze medals, and where his skill in modelling architectural details encouraged him to become a sculptor. Hodge achieved recognition in 1901 with his plaster angels for the dome of James Miller’s Industrial Hall in the Kelvingrove International Exhibition. In this same year he moved to London and obtained much work as an architectural sculptor. His commissions include two figures, Thomas Chippendale and Josiah Wedgwood, 1905, for Aston Webb’s new Exhibition Road frontage for the V&A Museum, South Kensington; all the carving on Ernest George and Yeates’ Royal Exchange Buildings, London, 1907; the Maritime Prowess group, 1907, for Russell & Cooper’s Guildhall, Hull; decorative carving for Lanchester, Stewart & Rickards’ Deptford Town Hall, 1907; mythological groups and historical portrait statues on J.J. Burnet’s Clyde Navigation Trust Building, Glasgow, 1906–08; Mining and Navigation groups for Vincent Harris’s Glamorgan County Hall, Cardiff, 1910; the Monument to Robert Burns, Stirling, 1914; a statue of Queen Victoria for the frontage of the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, 1914; pedimental sculpture for the Parliament Buildings, Winnipeg, 1916–19; and colossal groups for Edwin Cooper’s Port of London Authority Building, Trinity Square, London, 1912–22 (completed by his assistant Charles Doman). Hodge exhibited at the RA 19 times between 1905 and 1917 and was elected as a member of the RBS in 1907. He worked in a decorative classical style, a dept to the Parthenon sculptures being particularly evident in his groups for Glamorgan County Hall.

Sources: Architect, 11 January 1918, p. 16; Beattie, S., The New Sculpture, New Haven and London, 1983; Builder: (i) 18 January 1918, p. 57; (ii) 8 February 1918, p. 93; Cavanagh, T., Public Sculpture of South London, Liverpool, 2007; Gray, A.S., Edwardian Architecture, London, 1985; McKenzie, R., Public Sculpture of Glasgow, Liverpool, 2002; Mapping Sculpture; Ward-Jackson, P., Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

Polly Hope

See Crosby, Theo, and Polly Hope

James Houghton (fl. c.1865–c.1904)

From 1865 to 1868, Houghton is listed in the Post Office London directories as a statuary working from addresses firstly in Albany Street and then Stanhope Street near Regent’s Park. In about 1869 he relocated to 212 Great Portland Street (later adding a second address, 10 Upper Charlton Street) advertising his business firstly as a marble, stone and granite works then, by 1879 – although still available for ‘all monumental work’ – giving priority to the manufacture of marble chimney pieces. His commissions include the architectural sculpture on Archer & Green’s 193 Fleet Street, 1883, and the pedestal for Princess Louise’s statue of Queen Victoria, 1893, Kensington Gardens.

Sources: Post Office London directories, 1865–1904; Ward-Jackson, P., Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003, p. 123.

T. Cavanagh November 2022

Thomas Bayliss Huxley-Jones (1908–1968)

Sculptor. Born in Grahamstown (S. Africa), he trained at Wolverhampton College of Art (1924–29) under Robert Emerson, and at the Royal College of Art (1929–-33) under Richard Garbe and Gilbert Ledward. He married the sculptor, Gwynneth Holl, and worked briefly as an assistant to Charles Wheeler before taking up a post as head of sculpture at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen (1934–48). He moved on to become head of sculpture, first at Middlesex Polytechnic and then at the South East Essex Technical College and School of Art. In 1963 and again in 1968, he was visiting artist in residence at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, in the United States. Huxley-Jones received three important commissions for London statuary: the statue of David Livingstone for the Royal Geographical Society, Kensington Gore (1953), the Helios Fountain for the BBC TV Centre (1960), and the Joy of Life Fountain for Hyde Park (1963). He settled in Chelmsford, and did much work in Essex, including a figure of St Peter for Chelmsford Cathedral, a figure of Christ (1968) for St Martin’s Church, Basildon, and bronze doors for the Westminster Bank in Romford. In 1960, for the publisher Alec Tiranti, he wrote a book entitled Modelled Heads, which illustrates many of his own portrait works, alongside the work of contemporaries and a choice of historical examples. Huxley-Jones was a member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors.

Sources: Buckman, D., Artists in Britain since 1945 (2 vols: A–L, M–Z), Bristol (1998), 2nd edn. 2006; obituary in Weekly News, 13 December 1968; Huxley-Jones Papers, held at the Essex County Record Office, Chelmsford.

Philip Ward-Jackson 2011