Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Sally Dunham (sculptor)

Last week I  blogged about Hilary Bravo and the gorgeous handmade pendants of hers that I had spotted in the Henry Paddon Gallery on South Street. Now, while not wanting to show too much favouritism (other galleries are available!), on the same visit I was also very impressed by the sculptures of Sally Dunham.

Sally works entirely in clay, using a mixture of Earthstone and Porcelain, and each of her sculptures is painstakingly crafted by piecing together small slabs of clay, almost like making a patchwork quilt. She doesn't use any supports or moulds so you can imagine how long something as detailed as the Lady must take to complete.

Storm In A Teacup
She was introduced to clay modelling at Sixth Form College in Cambridge and began to develop her distinctive style during her degree course at the University of Wolverhampton. Sally has now been in business for fourteen years, exhibits in several galleries and has a loyal following of collectors. Her studio is in her home town of Soham where she enjoys creating new sculptures of people, animals and Mister Herbert (more about him in a moment). She says the only real constraint on her work is finding enough time to produce all the ideas she has as "I am constantly inspired by the world around me, things I see and people I meet!"

Take Me On A Journey
I particularly liked the 'A Moment With Mister Herbert' sculptures because, although the figures are quite simplistic, they communicate such amazingly clear emotion. It feels as if I know exactly what each one is thinking. Plus, there is a whimsical and surreal element to the character which is very entertaining. Mister Herbert began his adventures in July 2010 and was named by Sally's five-year-old son. In the first one I saw he is lying on his back, fast asleep with a book over his face. This completely reminded me of my boyfriend's ideal Summer afternoon! 
If you have your own idea for a situation or hobby for a Mister Herbert, Sally will be happy to take your commissions.

The Henry Paddon Gallery is at 113 South Street. 
Open from 10:00 to 17:30, Tuesday to Saturday.

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