The research of the English sculptor Rob Ward is strictly linked to the literature; James Joyce, and Italo Calvino are some of his sources of inspiration. His interest is mainly focused on the way the structure, the rhythm and form of literature can be transformed into sculpture and drawing. His li
erature infl uence is much more than an excuse; we can say that it is a full-blown poetic, the text is pre-text, it is the word that comes fi rst, that serves as a hint and as a point of convergence without imposing itself to the image, the material, and forms.
The artist, that lives and works in London, is well-known all over the world for his numerous artworks displayed in museums, private collections and public spaces, among which we can mention the ‘’Hymn’’ that is an imposing sculpture installed in Italy in 2009. It was created to celebrate the gold medal for civil value conferred by the President of the Italian Republic to the Grugliasco municipality in memory of the martyrs slayed in 1945.
A contemporary cathedral dedicated to the civil values of freedom, democracy, sacrifi ce, loyalty and courage. His upwards triangular form draws inspiration from the traditional idea of the spiritual inner grow through the tension towards the sky, typical of the European gothic cathedrals. Like the cathedrals, this sculpture has been created to last in time; it is made of stainless steel, polished like a mirror so that to refl ect the surrounding space.
An important part of his research originates from the dialogue between the two-dimensionality of the drawing and the three-dimensionality of the sculpture. He creates artworks in which he puts in relation big monochromatic drawings with small sculptures made of bronze, steel, or marble. In his ‘’materic’’ paintings, made of pigments and wax, we can see the drawn outlines of the sculptures placed in front of the drawings. The colors are strong, vivid, sometimes iridescent and chatoyant, fi elds of red, blue, yellow, violet and white, they all create a vibrant fourth dimension, almost a fi fth one of a stage on which the sculptures are displayed and interact with the colored background. The artwork that has created for this project is orientated towards the conceptual poetry. He was inspired by the Parsifal of Richard Wagner, musical drama created in 1882, considered sacred par excellence and loaded with religious allusion.
‘Here time turns into space’ is the inscription in relief that comes out from the cast iron. A phrase written in block letter, simple and direct, but carrier of a meaningful message. This sentence was extrapolated from the dialogue between Gurnemanz and Parsifal.
‘Here the time turns into space’, a circle made of cast iron set in the soil, conceived as if it was a door of time, a link between the two temporal spaces, a star gate that suggests the mystic landscape between reality and imagination. The cobalt blue patina, that makes it the only colored artwork, suggests the strong relation with the water and the system water of Cercenasco village
Education
1969-73 University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne BA(Hons) Fine Art
1973-75 University of Reading MFA
1975-76 Greek Government Scholarship, Athens Ecole des Kalon Technon
Academia di Bella Arti, Roma (Italian Gov. Scholarship)
Awards
1976 Northern Arts Awards
1982 Northern Arts Awards
1983 Artist in Residence, Grizedale Forest
1985 Lincolnshire and Humberside Arts Award
1989 Artist in Residence, Leeds City Arts Gallery
1990 British Council Grant
1991 Artist in Residence, Grizedale Forest
1994 Yorkshire and Humberside Arts Award
1995 Artist in Residence - Schmidt Centre for Art, Florida Atlantic University
1995 British Council Travel Grant
1999 Centre for Canadian Studies, University of Leeds Travel Grant
Teaching
1973-74 Tutor, University of Reading
1974-77 Chelsea School of Art
University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1977-82 University of Newcastle, NSW,Australia
Programme Co-ordinator, Sculpture
1982-87 Senior Lecturer in Sculpture
Humberside Polytechnic
1987-89 Senior Lecturer in Art and Design
West Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education
1989-94 Senior Lecturer, Head of Sculpture
Bretton Hall University of Leeds
1994-2001 Principal Lecturer
Head of Centre of Sculpture
Bretton Hall University of Leeds
2001- Head of Centre for Sculpture, University of Leeds, Bretton Hall
1977-2002 Visiting Lecturer
Norwich School of Art
Liverpool Polytechnic
Newcastle Polytechnic
Brighton Polytechnic
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Falmouth School of Art
Sydney College of Arts, University of New South Wales
Royal College of Art
Visiting Professor
University of Newcastle N.S.W. Australia
Florida Atlantic University
University of Edmonton, Canada
One Man Exhibitions
1969 Hatton Gallery – University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1975 British Council Gallery – Athens
1976 Hatton Gallery – University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1977 Coventry Gallery – Sydney
1978 These Foolish Things
Newcastle Regional Gallery, NSW, Australia
1978 The Sculpture Centre – Sydney
1980 Places, Paths and Mountains
Coventry Gallery, Sydney
1983 Northern Centre for Contemporary Art
Ceolfrith Gallery
Sunderland
County Durham
1985 Gone Fishin’
Posterngate Gallery, Kingston-upon-Hull and Polytechnic Gallery,
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1989 Drawings 1977-1987 and Epiphany Drawings and Sculpture
1988 –89 The Henry Moore Centre for the study of Sculpture, Leeds (first retrospective), Publication
1990 Kimberlin Gallery, Leicester
1990 Le Cadre Gallery, Hong Kong
1991 Le Cadre Gallery, Hong Kong
1991 Ldee Gallery, Tokyo
1992 Le Cadre Gallery, Hong Kong
1994 ‘Crimsworth’ Installation, Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham
Leeds Metropolitan University Gallery , Music by Bill Nelson, Publication
1995 ‘Conventions, Objects and Fields’, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Perth, Western Australia, Publication
1995 Schmidt Centre Gallery, Florida Atlantic University, U.S.A.
1997 ‘Tracing’,Mark Widdup Fine Art, Newcastle, NSW Australia
1998 ‘Crimsworth’ Drawings, Galleri II Salto del Salmone, Turin, Italy, Publication
1998 ‘Songs’ – 14 bronze sculptures, Usdan Gallery, Bennington, Vermont, USA Publication
2000 ‘Six Memoes for the next millennium’, Chiesa di St Agostina, Bergamo,Italy,Publication
2005 ‘Patterns’ Stephen Lacey Gallery, London
“Manufactured in the Uk- line and colour of the British Sculpure” Martin martini Arte Internazionale, Villa Grugliasco, Parco Culturale Le Serre, Grugliasco, (To), Italy, Publication
2007 Stadt Museums Werwaltung, Waiblingen, Germany, Publication,
Group Exhibitions
1973 Young Contemporaries – London, Camden Arts Centre
1974 Reading Museum and Art Gallery
1975 Cleveland International Drawing Biennale – Middlesborough, Publication
1977 Sydney Biennale,Publication
1978 Australian Sculpture Triennial, Mildura Publication
1979 8 x 2 x 3 Sculpture Drawings,Ivan Doherty Gallery, Sydney
1981 Australian Sculpture Triennial, Melbourne
1983 Northern Open-Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne,Publication
1983 Drawing in Air: An Exhibition of Sculptor’s Drawings
1882-1982 Ceofrith Gallery and the Henry Moore Centre for the Study of Sculpture, Leeds,Publication
1984 Hull Artist’s Association, Kingston-upon-Hull
1986 Hull Sculpture, Fernes Arts Gallery, Kingston-upon-Hull
1986 Athena Art Awards, Barbican Art Gallery, London,Publication
1991 Redfern Gallery, Summer Show, London
2000 De Saumerez Manor – Jersey, Summer Exhibition
2001 Concepts for New Sculpture, Sculpture at Goodwood,Publication
2002 Drawings and Paintings, Witney Baldwin Interiors, Palm Beach, Florida, USA
2002 Blue – Place Art Contemporanea, Turin, Italy,Publication
2002 21st Century British Sculpture, Guggenheim Museum, Venice, Italy,Publication
2002 British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Notts. Exhibition of Competition Entries
2002 ‘Solid State’ Contemporary British Stone Carving, Burghley
Sculpture Garden, Stamford, Lincs,Publication
2003 BLOK, Canterbury Festival of Sculpture.
2003 “ Manufactured in the UK -Form and Content in British Sculpture”, martin martini arte internazionale, Villa Gruliasco, Parco Culturale La Serre, Grugliasco, (To) Italy
2004 International Sculpture Exhibition, Castello di Aglie, Italy
2005 “ Uk Project - Patterns” martin martini Arte Internazionale, Nave, Parco Culturale La Serre, Grugliasco, (To) Italy
2006 “Manufactured in the Uk -Line and Colour in British Art” Martin martini Arte Internazionale, Chalet Allemand. Grugliasco, Italy
2006 18@ 108. Bronze . Royal British Society of Sculptors. London
2007 Toyamura Sculpture Biennale. Toyamura. Japan . Publication
2007 Art is Steel . Arcelor Mittal. Reims France
2007 Concours Europeen de sculptures monumentales Publication
2008 Neue Kunst in Alten Garten . Gehrden – Lenthe . Hanover .Germany
Commissions
1991 Ironbridge Open Air Museum of Steel Sculpture Permanent sitting of ‘Epiphany’
1991 Grizedale Forest, Cumbria Residency and Installation of - Tall Poppies
1992 ICI Huddersfield, UK, Installation of ‘Building Bridges’
1994 Tall Poppies Installation and sitting Yorkshire Sculpture Park
2000 Guilin, China, Installation of ‘Philosophical Sculpture’
2000 Installation of ‘Centurion’, Newcastle Railway Station
2001 Sculpture at Goodwood. Commission to produce ‘Cathedral’
2001 Manor Heath, Halifax, Installation of ‘Poppy’
2001 Arriva, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, Installation of ‘Oil Catcher’
2003 Commission to produce ‘Twin Spires’, Calder Park, Wakefield
2004 Commission to produce sculpture for Another Paradise Taiwan,
2004 Commission to produce sculpture for Gesipa. Germany
2005 Commission to produce” Palace” and” Zig”. Menin Developments , Florida U.S.A
2006 Commission to produce “ Ships of Fools” and “ Flower”for Shanghai Sculpture Park. China
2006 Commission to produce “ 1634 “. Stadt Museum Waiblingen , Germany.
2006 Commission to produce Ducks , Leather and Bells . Waiblingen Germany
2007 Commission to produce. Gate. Cass Sculpture Foundation. Goodwood . U.K
2008 “hymn” Commission to produce Monument, in collaboration with Martin Martini Arte Internazionale, City of Grugliasco. Turin, Italy
2008 Commission to produce Arcelor Mittal Awards
Collections
Newcastle Regional Gallery
NSW, Australia
Fernes Art Gallery
Kingston-upon-Hull
Henry Moore Centre for Study of Sculpture
Leeds City Art Gallery
Northern Arts
Ironbridge Museum of Steel Sculpture
Grizedale Forest
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Arriva – UK
Guilin Yuzi Paradise – China
Private Collections in Australia, Great Britain, USA, Canada, Hong Kong
Articles
Rob Ward Dr David Bromfield
1980, Coventry Gallery
Rob Ward Bill Varley
Re: Guardian 1983
Rob Ward Urszula Szulakowska
Artefactum November 1991
Rob Ward Urszula Szulakowska
Recent Paintings Catalogue Introduction 1992
Six Memos Susan Blunt 1993
Visual Poetry Susan Blunt 1992
Feeling after Falling John Penny 1994
Catalogue Notes Exhibition
Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham
Leeds Metropolitan University
Conventions, Objects,
Fields Urszula Szulakowska Exhibitions Catalogue
Schmidt Centre Gallery, Florida Atlantic University,
USA. Published by Stichting Het Grafisch Centrum
Crimsworth Urszula Szulakowska, Catalogue II Salto del Salmone
Published by Making Space
Songs Urszula Szulakowska,
Catalogue Published by Making Space
Six Memos for the Next
Millennium Catalogue Text by Elli Grazioli
Published by Making Space
Sculpture Message John Spurling, The Spectator
Concepts for New Sculpture 2001
Thinking Big 21st Century British Sculpture
Guggenheim Museum, Venice
Articles by Tim Marlow & Rob Mengham
Solid State Contemporary British Stone Carving
BLOK Canterbury Festival of Sculpture
Form and Content in
British Sculpture Catalogue text by Patrizia Bottallo
Patterns Catalogue text by Cathy Ward
Membership of Professional Organisations
1977 Member Higher Education Board of New South Wales
1983-85 CNAA Panel Member
1987-89 Welsh Advisory Board on Foundation Studies
1993-94 External Assessor
University of Derby
1997 Arts Council Assessor
Combined Arts Unit
1998 External Assessor
University of Sunderland
2000 Associate Member Royal Society of British Sculpture
2000 Elected Fellow Royal Society of Arts
2000 Elected Trustee, Royal Society of British Sculptors
2000 External Examiner, Kent Institute of Art & Design
Conferences
1997 International Sculpture Conference – Chicago
1999 Six Memos for the Next Millennium
1999 International Sculpture Conference, Houston, Texas
2000 Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.
‘ Remix’ featuring Six Memos for the Next Millennium
2000 International Sculpture Symposium, Guilin, China.