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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Allister Bowtell (1940–2006)

Sculptor, film designer and model maker, born in Sheen, Surrey, and educated at King’s College school, Wimbledon. After two years as a trainee cameraman for Rediffusion television, in 1961 he entered Chelsea Art School as a mature student, leaving in protest when the school lost its Dip AD sculpture accreditation. Making use of his television contacts, he obtained employment as a model maker, in 1966 making the models for Tweedledum and Tweedledee in Jonathan Miller’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland and for the first appearance of the cybermen in Doctor Who (both BBC). He was a part-time lecturer at Wimbledon School of Art, 1966–70, and the London College of Printing, 1974–78. When computer simulation reduced the demand for television props he turned to sculpture, working in a multiplicity of materials. He secured many private and public commissions, including Two Pupils, 2003, King’s Road, Chelsea. He was a member of the London Sketch Club and Chelsea Arts Club (chairman, 1997–2000). A keen oarsman, he rowed for the Arts Club and was vice-president of Vesta Rowing Club, near his home at Putney. In 2001, he was elected to the RBS. He died of prostate cancer at the age of 66.

Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 50–51; The Guardian online, 13 October 2006 (obit.).

Terry Cavanagh November 2022