We had the greatest of pleasure in accepting an invitation to a private viewing of Neal French’s latest exhibition that took place in Norwich during October of 2014.
We have been to his viewings a number of times before so we knew we were in for a treat.
We aren’t fortunate enough to own much of his work yet although we do have four lovely verdigris wall plaques from the early 90s that represent the four seasons and we love them.
His figurative sculptures are, however, what he is best known for and they are completely wonderful.
All of the pieces are taken from life studies sketched into his sketch books in prolific numbers or they are inspired from photographs taken while he and his wonderful wife Pam’s have been on their travels.
He regularly has commissions whether they be The Grosvenor Group for a West End installation, a bakery organisation installation of Figures on a roundabout in Spalding, a group of figures outside a village hall or a private piece in someone’s garden.
A lot of the commissions are life size and wonderful for it but it was lovely to browse through these smaller bronze and ceramic figures that formed the most part of this most recent exhibition.
They are all exquisite, made all the more lovely when you can see the thumb prints from his hand workings before they are cast and captured but also because some of the subjects are known to us.
Having spent a little time with the gentleman himself (who would not be as prolific or as well organised as he is without the endless and terribly important support of the marvellous Mrs French, Pam), the pieces come alive as he accompanies discussions about them with a fascinating back story.
Added to all of this (as if there needed to be more), he is an incredibly lovely, rather interesting and very talented man indeed.
All of his work is fabulous and all fabulous for many different reasons but my favourite from this exhibition is by far Shopper.