From August to October 2021, Kingston Sculpture Trail brought seven exciting temporary public artworks by world-class artists to the town centre.
Over 1700 local residents and visitors of the trail voted for their favourite sculpture, and with 51% of the public vote we’re delighted to announce the winning artwork on the trail is Party Animal by Alex R T Davies MRSS.
Davies wins a £10k prize and his sculpture will be installed in a suitable location in the town centre for all to enjoy in early 2022.
“It’s been a great experience being involved in the Kingston Sculpture Trail, made all the better by the positive feedback I have had and of course winning the vote. It is a real honour to have a sculpture chosen to be permanently sited in Kingston, a town that I have visited many times growing up in Surrey, having worked there as a teenager, to now having my own business and workshop so close.”
– Alex R T Davies MRSS, artist
“A great choice, and good to have a local artist. This is Kingston’s version of the boar statue near the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. The nose of “Porcellino” is golden from the number of tourists rubbing it for luck; the cone on the back of Alex’s goat is going to be just as shiny. It’s going to be a very popular piece.”
– David Mach RA, artist and creator of ‘Out of Order’ (1989)
Swipe across to take a look at the seven sculptures which were selected for the trail:
David Begbie MRSS
An androgynous angel figure, acting as a ‘guardian’ or benevolent presence looking over Kingston
‘TIME AND TIDE’
Marigold Hodgkinson FRSS
A curved stainless-steel crescent-moon sculpture, with suspended mirrored gong, which shifted gently in the wind reflecting light and continuously changing surroundings
‘KINGSTON SPINNING SCULPTURE’
Roger Clarke MRSS
A colourful sculpture that invited viewers to interact by spinning it
Alex R T Davies MRSS
Part of a series of sculptures titled ‘Unwanted Monuments’, two bronze street cones ‘kiss’ inspired by Rodin and Constantin Brâncuși’s piece of the same name, conveying the delicate intimacy of the subject with ordinary objects with no race or gender
Alex R T Davies MRSS
From Davies’ same series ‘Unwanted Monuments’, a bronze goat sculpture stands proudly with a street cone on its back, inviting the viewer to touch and even sit on the piece
Stefan Jovanović & Jack Hardy
A large steel sculpture designed as a symbolic fireplace for gathering, an offering and an invitation to the folks of Kingston to sit around and listen to, in sun, wind and rain
‘THE JUGGERNAUT OF NOUGHT’
Richard Trupp MRSS
A large, industrial wedge-shaped sculpture celebrating the industrial heritage of the Thames riverbank and creating a moment of pause in its surroundings
“Announcing the winner of the first-ever Kingston Sculpture Trail is a proud moment for all the partners who helped bring this exciting, collaborative project to life. The trail brought a wealth of public art to Kingston and created new experiences for visitors and residents alike, building on our shared vision for the town centre’s streets and spaces. The incredible legacy of the trail is this brilliant piece of permanent public artwork which will be enjoyed for many years to come. Congratulations to the artist and thank you to everyone who visited the trail and voted for their favourite sculpture.”
– Kirsten Henly, Chief Executive Kingston First
“As an artist, educator and resident of Kingston for over 30 years, I am very proud of our town and how it has grown in confidence and developed, whilst supporting culture and the arts. I hope that our Kingston Sculpture Trail will add to the experience of both residents and visitors and enhance their enjoyment of the riverside and town centre. We are fortunate in that we have attracted interest from extremely high quality, world class artists, who want to be a part of our continuing story. I hope everyone enjoys these new artworks as much as we have enjoyed selecting them.”
– Paul Stafford, FRSS and Honorary Fellow of Kingston University
Five of the seven artists were members of the Royal Society of Sculptors.
Alex R T Davies MRSS
Alex R T Davies has been making sculpture and other objects, mostly in metal, for the last 30 years. During this time he has exhibited his sculptures in a number of exhibitions, art fairs and sculpture gardens.
A member of the Royal Society of Sculptors, Alex’s work has recently featured Goats as an inspiration and starting point. The Goat is such a diverse animal, it has adapted to most environments, from deserts to mountains. In art, the Goat has been used from Egyptian paintings, to cultural icons, to a metaphor for agriculture, to symbolism for good and evil. After leaving art college in the early 90’s, he set up an artist blacksmith business (Red Forge) making and designing commissioned sculpture, furniture and architectural Iron work. By 2000, he started working in bronze, casting for many well known artists and managing foundries in Corsham, London and Essex. In 2008 he moved back to Surrey to further establish his own Fine Art Foundry, Milwyn Casting Ltd, which is based close to Kingston, in West Molesey, Surrey.
This years’ highlights as an artist have been the 10 Gram Challenge, devised and produced by Alex, a response to the first coronavirus lockdown. He invited Members of the Royal Society of Sculptors to make sculptures using 10 grams of provided wax, which was then lost-wax cast into bronze. Over 200 sculptors were involved with the results exhibited in June 2021 at Dora House (home of the RSS). Another highlight was having two sculptures, Party Animal and The Kiss, selected for the Kingston Sculpture trail. He was also shortlisted to produce a live sculpture for the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.
David Begbie MRSS
Throughout his career David Begbie has worked predominantly on images of the human form often with an emphasis on classical subjects and partial or truncated figures. Commissions include works such as ‘ORIGINS’ for the Natural History Museum and ‘GRANDSLAM’ for the AELTC Centre Court building at Wimbledon, TRANSPOSE’ for Buddha-Bar London, and ‘AANGEL’ for the Jam House, Edinburgh.
The transparent quality of the medium used is particularly evocative for ethereal or spiritual subject matter. The essential character of ‘AANGEL’ 2021 is androgynous in keeping with the traditional notion of an angel conceived as an asexual entity. Begbie recently revisited ‘Angels’ as a subject during the current COVID-19 pandemic, proposing ‘AANGEL’ 2021 as a protective presence looking over Kingston. In the event that the sculpture is chosen to be permanently sited in Kingston, Begbie suggests it would serve as a pertinent reminder of the current crisis for posterity.
Richard Trupp MRSS
Richard Trupp has worked with steel all his life. He transforms the miniature and mundane into the monumental and significant. “Richard is ambitious,” noted the late Sir Anthony Caro of his protege, whose art is grounded in a deep respect for his sculptural forebears. Trupp’s signature sculptures are a nod to his mentor’s industrial leanings but also a very emblematic direction of his own. He continues in the Caro vein, pushing the possibilities of sculpture forward. His work is rarely self-contained or limited to its own physical boundaries, but frequently seeks to reference aspects of the broader environmental context surrounding it.
Successful installations are sited internationally and across the UK and in 2019 he represented Great Britain at the Venice Biennale.
Trupp has been working in Kingston for over 20 years since first being a Stanley Picker Fellow in 2000. Currently he isHead of Workshops at Kingston School of Art, recently completing a £30m renovation on the Mill Street Building from start to finish, providing world class facilities to new generations of creative practitioners.
Roger Clarke MRSS
Roger Clarke (b.1966) lives and works in Bath. After graduating from the Slade School of Art, he was awarded the Henry Moore Sculpture Fellowship at Winchester School of Art in 1991 and the Rome Scholarship in Sculpture in 1994. He is Senior Lecturer in Creative Arts Practice at Bath School of Art, Bath Spa University and his work has been exhibited throughout the UK, Europe and beyond.
Marigold Hodgkinson FRSS
Marigold Hodgkinson’s practice involves several activities with different outcomes mainly consisting of exterior sculpture & site-specific installations in locations across Europe, such as Holland, Sweden and the UK. She has participated in artist residencies in Lithuania, Poland, East Berlin, Florence and India, which have entailed the creation of works relevant to ’Place-Site-Time-Location-Country’.
Photographic work involves combining into ‘Multiplicits’ and ‘Montage with Multi-view’ photographic focus. Her background of drawing and painting often operates as an ‘in-transit & thematic travelogue series’.
Marigold Hodgkinson set up artist and student exchanges to Poland and Eastern Europe with British Council funding, and has exhibited in Poznan and Lodz. She has also been active as part-time tutor and lecturer at several art schools and worked with an architect.
Stefan Jovanović and Jack Hardy
Stefan Jovanović is a queer and neurodivergent architect and performance-maker, creating neo-mythical worlds and speculative fabulations in site-specific environments. He makes work about radical togetherness, systemic inclusion and ancestral trauma through a maximalist aesthetic and approach that combines sculpture, drawing, dance and building. He has previously shown work at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Dance4, Asylum Chapel, Stone Nest and Siobhan Davies Dance. He has taught at the Architectural Association, Royal College of Art, Independent Dance, and London Contemporary Dance School. He regularly speaks at international conferences that address the intersection of architecture and the performing arts.
Jack Hardy lives and works in London, an optimist with a love of carnival and play. Working between spatial design and sculpture, Jack’s work includes large and small scale toys and installations for events. His work addresses play, movement and interaction, and includes steelworks and inflatables. Jack is an associate lecturer in Architecture at Oxford Brookes and a teaching fellow at UCL. He has over 8 years of experience designing award-winning play spaces with Erect Architecture, and has contributed to GLA policy on play and childhood.
“Thank you to everyone who took part and voted for the amazing sculptures, and to the artists behind them. The Kingston Sculpture Trail reinforces the Council’s commitment to supporting arts and culture as an integral part of our wider economic recovery, and we are delighted that Party Animal will be around for visitors and residents to enjoy.”
– Councillor Rebekah Moll, Portfolio Holder for Culture at Kingston Council
“Alex R T Davies’ ‘Party Animal’ is a worthy winner of the public vote, a fantastic addition to the landscape of Kingston and a sculpture the local community and visitors can enjoy for years to come. It’s been a real pleasure working in partnership with Kingston First, the Royal Borough of Kingston and community groups, and for my colleagues from Kingston School of Art to be able to contribute. Our students have also enjoyed opportunities to take their work out into public settings in previous projects and I hope there is further collaboration in the future.”
– Mandy Ure, Dean at Kingston School of Art
The trail was organised through a partnership of the Canbury Community Trust, Kingston Council, Kingston First and Kingston University.
All of the trail’s branding and visual identity (including the logo, background and all supporting collateral) was created by three talented Kingston University students; Imogen Ashby, Esdras Da Costa and Sophie Smith. On behalf of the sculpture trail partners we would like to thank them for all their hard work and fantastic creative ideas throughout this process.