Angela Conner FRSS
One of Britain’s most prolific sculptors who, for over forty years, has created monumental, kinetic sculptures, as well as a series of acclaimed bronze heads.
It is a sign of her international repute that in 2019 she was invited to represent Britain in Beihai Tide, China’s first international outdoor kinetic sculpture exhibition, where she showed a version of Poise (see main image.)
We love the way Angela’s kinetic sculptures move with water, tip in the wind, interact with gravity, light, and shadow. They encompass her playful spirit and her passion for nature. Harnessing natural forces, they seek to evoke those feelings experienced in the increasingly rare moments when we slow down and engage with our surroundings. Whilst vast in scale and impressive in material, her work is characterised by the contrasting simplicity of the mechanics she engineers specifically to realise the kinetic aspects of each sculpture.
As a young self-taught artist who had sculpted since childhood with whatever materials came her way, Angela Conner developed her professional foundation working in Dame Barbara Hepworth’s celebrated St Ives’ studio. From there, she went on to develop her signature fascination with the movement caused by natural forces, such as wind and water. “I love kinetic sculptures because there is no technology involved as such. It is about harnessing the forces of nature to make something move; forces that are so much more powerful than we are,” she says. It is this entranced awe of the power of nature that her sculptures capture.
At thirty-five metres, her ‘Irish Wave‘ in Dublin is the tallest mobile sculpture in Europe. Her commissions are often found in great country houses, such as Chatsworth, Longleat, the American Museum at Bath and Hatfield House; the latter hosted a solo show of her work in 2015. She has exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art NY, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal Academy of Art and was awarded an American Institute of Architects’ Honour Award for sculpture and co-design of Heinz Plaza, Pittsburgh USA.
An accomplished portraitist, Angela has also sculpted a remarkable number of notable public figures including HM The Queen, as well as eminent figures from the arts, such as Lucian Freud, Sir Tom Stoppard, Alan Bennett and Dame Elisabeth Frink. Her portraits feature in public and private collections worldwide, including the National Portrait Gallery and St George’s Chapel, Windsor.