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Julian Wild, Danehill sculptor - Sussex maker of the month

PUBLISHED: 15:01 01 June 2015 | UPDATED: 15:01 01 June 2015


Surrounded by hay barns, horses and fields lies Julian Wild’s studio, where he creates amazing sculptures made from materials including stainless steel, ceramic and bronze on the outskirts of Danehill.

Deadly Nightshade (Sculpture in the City)Deadly Nightshade (Sculpture in the City)

Some would fit on your dining room table, while some would need something approaching an acre of garden in order for you to really appreciate them.

They are all for the most part inspired by the natural world that surrounds him, despite being very urban in their appearance. “I like that about them – the materials are very modern, while the influences are anything but.”

His wife Mary is also an artist, and their house is two fields walk away, down a small hill – up the other side of the slope is the school that his two sons attend. It’s all quite idyllic really – if he were to step outside the studio at playtime, he might even be able to identify his brood among the countless small excitable voices that ring out across the valley.

“I’m going to have some of the work that they’ve made while sitting with me here in the studio cast into bronze for their birthdays,” says Julian.

Last year, his work went on display as part of the Cass Sculpture Foundation, and one of his pieces, Breaking the Mould, is currently residing at Chatsworth House as past of a Sotheby’s exhibition.

Julian knew that he wanted to be an artist, but it wasn’t until he went to art school in Cheltenham that he became inspired by the sculpture department there and his focus changed.

“My initial idea for each piece is usually quite simple – I think about the structure and then experiment within that. Then I keep going until it feels right.”

Julian works in what he describes as “a very individual way…I do a lot of the making myself,” he says. “I know that a lot of others who do what I do prefer to make a maquette and then send it away to be cast for them, but I like to be involved the whole way through the process.”

Julian has taught at Morley College in London for 16 years, and also lectures occasionally at universities, as well as giving occasional workshops in his Sussex studio. He’s also very happy to take commissions.

“Because my work is so technique-based, with each piece I have to get through a pain barrier – I have to keep working and working and it either works or it doesn’t, and sometimes you just have to scrap it all and start again, but when it does work, it’s a pretty great feeling.”

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