Simon Gudgeon b. 1958

Born in Yorkshire in 1958, Simon Gudgeon lived on the family farm deep in the countryside. He became a solicitor after studying law at Reading University and only started to paint in his thirty's, first exhibiting at London's Battersea Exhibition Centre in 1992. At age 40 an impulse buy of artist's clay led him into his new career as a sculptor.

 

Since then Gudgeon has attained worldwide recognition with exhibitions in London, New York, San Diego, Paris and the Netherlands and his works are featured in important private collections. In addition, he has work in several prominent art museums in the USA, including America's National Museum of Wildlife Art and the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum.

 

Simon Gudgeon sculpts primarily in bronze and occasionally in marble, granite, glass or stainless steel. For the modelling of the form he uses a number a different materials, depending on the nature and scale of the subject- terracotta clay, oil-based Chavant clay, epoxy resin or foam. He is particularly known for his sculptures of birds in flight, often with ingeniously engineered bases that seem to launch them into the air rather than anchor them to the ground.

 

Majority of his artworks are in public collections, which include Isis, exhibited in Hyde Park, London, presented on 7 September 2009. It is estimated that 1,000 plaques around the base were sold to donors for personalised inscriptions at £1,000 each, as a means of funding the park's Isis Education Centre for bringing and motivating young people to the study of nature. He donated his work to the park by the Halcyon Gallery. Other casts of Isis are remembered to have been held at Prince Charles' Highgrove House in Gloucestershire and at the United States' most prominent National Museum of Wildlife Art.

 

Simon Gudgeon used to say that "The sculpture needs to embody beauty at a superficial level, enhance the spirit and enrich the surroundings. But at a deeper level, it needs to resonate with the viewer and unknowingly appeal to their emotions. It doesn't matter if those feelings are the same as the artist intended. The important thing is that the viewer is connected to art." Traveling to Africa, Asia and Australasia allowed Gajon to broaden the subject and experiment with different styles and methods. His simplified approach to sculpture embodies the flowing lines of the skeleton and removes an increasing amount of information, but ... retains its own tactile core, so the shape is still changed to an identifiable abstract. With fine details such as the bulge of the neck, he suggests rather than drawing birds and mammals.

 

Gajon was selected as a featured artist at the 2010 Western Visions exhibition at the National Wildlife Museum in Jackson Hall, Wyoming. He has also participated in numerous exhibitions, including Birds in Art at the Lee Yorkie Woodson Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin in 2010, and Art and the Animal, the 50th anniversary of the Association of Animal Artists in Natural History of San Diego. Works were exhibited at California State Museum. In July 2012, Gajon presented Isis at the National Wildlife Museum in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. During his stay in the United States, he stayed at the Artist in Residence for a short time at the museum.