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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Simon Gudgeon (b. 1958)

Sculptor born in Yorkshire. After studying law at Reading University, he practised as a solicitor. He began painting in his thirties, exhibiting for the first time in 1992, at Battersea Exhibition Centre. Gudgeon says that an ‘impulse purchase of artist’s clay at the age of 40 led into his new career as a sculptor, responding to what lay closest to his heart: the natural world’. He has since had exhibitions in London, New York, San Diego, Paris and the Netherlands; and has examples of his work in private collections in the UK and abroad, including those of the dukes of Edinburgh, Bedford and Northumberland, and also in museums, including the National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin. In 2011, the sculptor and his wife, Monique, opened to the public a sculpture park, ‘Sculpture by the Lakes’ at Pallington, Dorset, for which Monique designed the garden and landscape settings for her husband’s sculpture. Gudgeon models in terracotta clay, oil-based Chavant clay, epoxy resin and foam, producing sculptures primarily in bronze, but occasionally in marble, granite, glass or stainless steel. His sculptures are characteristically smooth-surfaced, simplified and semi-abstract, their forms derived from animals and birds, Gudgeon’s stated aim being to make a transformation of the original into ‘something abstract, taking away more and more information, but … maintaining the inherent tactile core, so the form is still identifiable’. Examples of Gudgeon’s publicly sited sculptures include Isis/Serenity, 2009, Hyde Park, London; Leaf Spirit, 2018, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; and Bird of Happiness, 2018, Mercia Marina, Willington, Derbyshire.

Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 314–15, 448–49; L. Grainger, ‘Sculpture by the Lakes: “Gloriously wild”’, 15 July 2014, The Telegraph; Simon Gudgeon website.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022