HAZEL REEVES SWA FRSA
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Curiosity in people, their faces and their stories form the heart of my artistic practice. I find clay to be a highly responsive and sensitive medium. I use the process of clay portrait sculpting as a catalyst. My aim is to move people – move them to tears, to ask questions, to participate, to tell their own stories, to take action. Public art should be the start of a conversation, not an end. I see it as a form of story telling. My 7ft 5in bronze of Sir Nigel Gresley will inspire the public to find out more about his story as one of this country’s most eminent steam railway engineers, once it is unveiled on the 5 April 2016 at King’s Cross Station.
Indeed, I am never happier than when I am combining my passion for portraiture with telling stories of struggles for social justice. This could be celebrating the achievements of rights activists and peace advocates, through sculpting their portraits - such as my commission to sculpt Sadako Sasaki, who has inspired peace activism worldwide, and my commission to sculpt disability rights activist Diane Mulligan OBE. Or it could involve inverting the norms of portraiture and sculpting those who are rarely deemed worthy of capturing in bronze, whose faces and stories are effaced from history.
I exhibit in London galleries and across the South of England and beyond, being fortunate to have received prestigious awards, including from the Society of Women Artists (SWA) and the Society of Portrait Sculptors. I am on the Council of the SWA and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. I have also had the privilege of being the sculptural advisor to the Hove Plinth project from its inception (an initiative of the Hove Civic Society).
I live in Brighton but my main studio is in Billingshurst. I enjoy teaching portraiture at the Sussex Sculpture Studios and Phoenix Brighton, and undertaking ‘masterclasses’ in London at the Art Academy and Morley College.