Sculptor and designer, born in south Wales. He studied at West Surrey College of Art and Design, where he graduated with honours in three-dimensional design specialising in metals, and the RCA, where he gained a master’s degree in the metalwork department. In the mid-1980s, after attending research courses in Germany, France and Iran, Smith began designing street furniture and exhibiting both in Britain and abroad. In the late 1990s, he was commissioned to design a Sculptural Canopy to go atop the NGC Cable Joint Building, Canal Way, Kensington. Part of an urban improvement scheme, the building beneath it very quickly succumbed again to the graffiti which had so blighted the area before its refurbishment. Smith’s brightly coloured 15-metre-high, Lollipop Be-Bop, inaugurated 2001, in front of the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, fared rather better, although its interior lighting, originally controlled by a console that the children could use on the hospital’s third floor, was not maintained and is now inoperative. Nevertheless, the sculptor believes that it still manages to convey the ‘sense of friendliness and welcome’ that he intended.
Sources: Art and the Public Realm Bristol; Buckman, D., Artists in Britain since 1945 (2 vols: A–L, M–Z), Bristol, 2006; Merritt, D., et al, Public Sculpture of Bristol, Liverpool, 2011.
Terry Cavanagh November 2022