Sculptor and painter born in Bolton, Lancashire. He studied at Bolton College of Art & Design, 1970–71; Wolverhampton Polytechnic, 1971–74 (under John Paddison); and the RA Schools, 1974–77 (under Willi Soukop). In 1976, he was the winner of the RA Gold Medal. Mason taught at art schools in Loughborough and Staffordshire, and at Northumbria University, 1993–97, and Derby University, 2004–06 (where he was Professor of Sculpture). Residencies include Webster University, St Louis, USA (1986), Tate St Ives (1996), and Gloucester Cathedral (2000–01). In 1977, Sir Frederick Gibberd commissioned from Mason, Hinge, in red sandstone, for the Gibberd Garden, Harlow New Town; this was followed by two more pieces for the town, Vertex, 1979, Bardolino marble, for Broad Walk, and Courtyard, 1985, marble, for the Civic Centre. In 1988, Mason was lead artist in the Tudor Square project, Sheffield; despite its having received the City of Sheffield’s Design Award in 1993, it is now largely lost to subsequent redevelopments. Other major commissions include Above and Below, 1993, Ancaster limestone, for the National Maritime Building, Southampton; sculptures and mosaic panels, 1998, for Seaham Promenade, County Durham; and East Yar River Project, 2002, six sculptures in Portland stone sited along the river from Niton to Brading, and The Tyburn Group, 2002, two sculptures in marble, plus a lettered plaque in slate listing the significant place names associated with the course of the Tyburn river from its source at Shepherd’s Well, Hampstead, to its outlet into the Thames below Vauxhall Bridge.
Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 453–54; Harlow Art Trust, Sculpture in Harlow, 2005, pp. 61–63, 106; obituary, 19 May 2006, Independent online; D. White and E. Norman, Public Sculpture of Sheffield and South Yorkshire, Liverpool, 2015, pp. 283–85; Wikipedia.
Terry Cavanagh November 2022
Paul Mason in residence at Barbara Hepworth’s Studio
St Ives 1996 (photo: Joseph Mason, CC BY-SA 4.0,
via Wikimedia Commons)