Sculpture at Wendy J Levy Contemporary Art
"Impossible to ignore the works of Dawn Rowland." (The Sunday Times)
Dawn Rowland has worked as a sculptor in London, San Francisco and since 1975 in the Manchester area. Her sculptures are primarily in stone, but she also works in bronze, wood, terracotta and plaster. She has been interviewed twice on BBC's "Women's Hour", once in 2004 regarding her latest commission, also in 1988 as a result of having three carvings exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. She was presented to the Queen in 1993 at the opening of "Chelsea Harbour Sculpture 1993". Her sculptures and drawings are in private collections throughout Europe, Japan, the United States, Australia and Canada. She was elected a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors in 1991 and elected onto Council in 1993 and served on Council until early 1999. She was made a Fellow of the Society in 1994.
For Dawn Rowland's full CV click here.
Born into a family of European artists, Benson Landes left school at the age of 14 to study fashion and design. Working at his father's clothing factory, he learned pattern cutting. Designing clothes was the natural progression for Benson, who eventually set up his own couture business in 1956. After 25 successful years, Benson decided to retire to his foremost passion, sculpting and modelling. He immediately designed a collection of eight sporting bronze trophies, which were snapped up by Crown Jeweller's Garrards. Benson was then able to introduce himself to a number of important individuals and fine art houses. Working mainly on commissions for the next fifteen years, Benson's exquisitely graceful bronzes have since been exhibited across the country, with collectors worldwide. Benson attributes the characteristic elegance and movement of his classical figure sculptures to his career as a couturier, where he gained an in-depth understanding of the female form.
Commenting on his work, Benson says, "Sculpting is my passion, my meditation. I've reached a stage in my life where things of beauty are more important to me than anything else - my world has to be perfect, romantic and filled with quiet elegance. I feel lucky to have been given a natural talent and, being self-taught, I've had the confidence to express my individuality. I get immense pleasure from my work, but my real satisfaction comes from knowing it has touched other people."
The essence of Barbara's sculpture relates to ideas that are important to her, including openness, communication and personal development. These themes are reflected in the large scale outdoor piece, showing figures in “outline form” trying to become complete by communicating with each other. Another element is the dependency of family and friends upon each other, as shown by various figurative pieces. It was Lorenzo Quinn who said that it is only from age fifty onwards that these things can really be understood!
Barbara's passionate belief within all her work is that “it is the message that counts”, and she strives to give each piece its own voice, and indeed find its own listener!Her travels to Barcelona to study her heroes, Tapies and Subarach, have played a special part in her development, strongly led by ideas and emotional resonance. Gerhard Richter has been an important influence in his view that “things are not always as they seem”, hence Barbara's initial interest in abstraction through her painting. Further studies at the Guggenheim in Bilbao, New York and Venice, and the Bauhaus in Berlin, have been highly inspirational in finding her own individual means of expression. Closer to home, Dame Elisabeth Frink and Lynn Chadwick have also been hugely influential.
Soon after enrolling at a local college to study ceramics, Barbara won her first
scholarship. She was immediately drawn to three-dimensional form, quickly
moving to bronze and feeling that her personal journey had now begun in
earnest. Light, energy, warmth and movement all play an integral part in
Barbara's sculpture and these are constant themes throughout the
Barbara was born in Llanelli, South Wales where she spent her early childhood. Subsequently she moved to Liverpool where she married, had two children and is now residing in Bowdon, Cheshire. Her sculpture reflects a wide range of feelings and always aims to create an unspoken dialogue. Barbara’s dedication to each individual piece of work truly represents a significant part of that important conversation.
*Photographs by Jonathan Lucas
Simon Manby MA
Sculptor and letter-cutter, Simon Manby was born in Buckingham into a family of artists. Son of R.M. Manby, an architect who was descended from West Derbyshire farming stock, and Judith Da Fano, a distinguished Lake District artist. Grandson of Dorothea Landau, late Pre-Raphaelite painter.
Simon was brought up in the north of England and educated in Scotland. He studied sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art under Eric Schilsky 1960-66. Taught sculpture at Stoke College of Art, leaving in 1972 to work as a freelance artist. Early figurative work in clay gradually gave way to more formal expression through larger scale carving in wood and stone, some approaching, or entirely abstract. Simon's sculpture is now predominantly cast in bronze or sometimes iron.
At present his work is entirely committed to the figure. Recent sculpture is lighter and joyous in spirit. In 1994 he became an elected member of the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts and also received the McGrigor Donald Sculpture Award at the Royal Scottish Academy. His work has been widely exhibited in the UK and abroad, commissioned and collected by many distinguished patrons.
2005 Thompson's Gallery, Marylebone, London
2004 Espace Moliere, Agde, France
2003 Hourglass Gallery, Hebden Bridge
2003 Derby Museum and Art Gallery
2002 Sheridan-Russell Gallery, London
2000 Borough Museum and Art Gallery, Newcastle-under-Lyme
1999 & 2002 Lichfield Cathedral, Lichfield International Arts Festival
1995 Abbotsholme School, Derbyshire
1993 Brantwood, Lakeland home of John Ruskin
1982 &1983 Royal Agricultural Show, Stoneleigh
CECILE ELSTEIN MA MAFA
Cecile Elstein made sculpture in South Africa before emigrating to London in 1961. There she met the ceramist Catherine Yarrow and was her private pupil from 1965-9.
Living in London she took commissions for portrait bronzes. Her portraits were exhibited at the Society for Portrait Sculptors in London in 1973. 1970-77 Cecile lived in Southampton, exhibiting sculpture, drawing and prints there and in London.
Between 1974-7 Cecile attended the BA sculpture course at West Surrey College of Art and Design. 1976 Scots Pine structure designed and built for physically disabled children at the Treloar School in Alton Surrey. Leaving the south of England in 1977 her family settled in Manchester, where she developed her lasting interest in screen printing and began a collaborative relationship with the master printer Kip Gresham. Her large screen prints are in collections in the U.K. South Africa, U.SA. In 1986 Cecile was the winner of the Sericol Colour Prize at the 9th British International Print Biennale in Bradford. 1991 'A Printmaking Partnership Cecile Elstein and Kip Gresham' exhibition was presented at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. In 1996 she attained her MA at Manchester Metropolitan University. In 1997 she was included in a publication ' Exhibiting gender' by Sarah Hyde in which Cecile's large screen print titled 'One with Another' was compared with the soft ground etching 'David's pool at night' by Howard Hodgkin. 1997 Invited artist to exhibit at the Summer Sculpture Exhibition at the National Trust Wimpole Hall Gardens.
Cecile Elstein was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1997. Working as art director for video, Cecile co-produced the DVD 'Tangents, a mindscape in a landscape' 2004 with filmmaker and multimedia producer Maureen Kendal. In 2005 a commission for a portrait bronze of Michael Kennedy , writer and music critic has re-awakened her interest in portraiture that brings Cecile full circle.