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Laurence Edwards’ practice has long been preoccupied by the entwining of man, nature and time. One of the few sculptors who casts his own work, he is fascinated by human anatomy and the metamorphosis of form and matter that governs the lost-wax process. The driving force behind his work is bronze, an alloy that physically and metaphorically illustrates entropy, the natural tendency of any system in time to tend towards disorder and chaos. His sculptures express the raw liquid power of bronze, its versatility, mass and evolution, and the variety of process marks he retains tell the story of how and why each work came to be.
In November 2021, Edwards installed a 26-foot-high sculpture, alongside the A12 highway in Suffolk, called ‘Yoxman’. This colossal figure embodies his fascination between the human figure and the environment; he is part tree, cove, cliff and figure. Organic matter is built into the casting process; a detritus of leaves, branches, stone and rope. The patina and colouring of the sculpture will, in time, reflect the nearby cliffs. Drawing together the movement of time from the ancient past through the present and looking towards the future. Reflecting on this work, Edwards describes, “in some ways this figure deals with the crossover from a kind of male triumphalism to a more reticent, unsure confused state, battered and freighted by history, this evocation of maleness looks towards the ground, muffled, buckled and scarred, bearing witness to a complicated history evaluating what role is possible in the future”.
Based in Suffolk, Edwards studied sculpture at Canterbury College of Art and bronze casting at the Royal College of Art with Sir Antony Caro. After winning a Henry Moore Bursary, the Angeloni Prize for Bronze Casting and an Intach Travelling Scholarship, he studied traditional casting techniques in India and Nepal, an experience that not only influenced his treatment of form and technique, but also gave him the necessary tools to establish his own atelier and foundry.
In 2006, he won the Royal Society of Portrait Sculpture Award, and became an Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 2012. In November 2019, Man of Stones was unveiled at the Sainsbury Centre in Norfolk. In 2018, Edwards was commissioned by Doncaster Council to create a sculpture that celebrates the lives of those who worked in the collieries around Doncaster. ‘A Rich Seam’ was unveiled in Print Office Street in 2021.
1990 Edwards established his first foundry and studio at Clock House Bruisyard
1992 Moves to Yew Tree Farm, Laxfield in Suffolk where he builds his bronze foundry and establishes Yew Tree Farm Studios artistic community.
1997 sets up the first USA-UK Iron Pour workshops and symposium at Yew Tree Farm Studios.
1998 Appointed artist in residence for the bury st Edmunds festival working on ‘Projection Series.
2003 moves studio to Butley Mills, near Oxford creating a larger foundry and more complex studios
2005 starts part-time lecturing in Critical Studies at Norwich School of Art
2006 wins the Royal Society of Portrait Sculpture Award for Grin and Bare
2008 First monograph about his life and work written by John Sheeran and published by Sheeran Lock and the first documentary made about his work made by Aldeburgh Films, covering the making and siting of the Giants series
2008 Sculptor in residence at the National Casting Centre, Al
2009 First publication, ‘Creek Men, a journey’ published by Clock house Arts Association introduced by Christopher Le Brun RA
2009 Elected associate member Royal Society of British Sculptors
2011 Purchases new studio in an ex fire station in Saxmundham and sets up large modelling, drawing and painting studios.
2012 Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors
2015 Prize Winner ‘Society of British Sculptors’ London and winner of the Macquarie sculpture prize.
2016 Opens new studio and large scale foundry in Halesworth Suffolk
2017 Commissioned to create ‘Summit’ 4 life size figures ascending staircase Cannon Green, London
2018 Commissioned to create 8ft figure ‘Man of Stones’ to be installed in the Sainsbury Centre Sculpture Park, Norwich.
Expedition to North Eastern Siberia to visit and stay with the Eveny Reindeer Herders, with Cambridge University Anthropologist, Professor Piers Vitebsky
2019 Installed 6ft figures in 18th Century Wyatt entrance hall of Hevenigham Hall, Suffolk
‘Gathering of Uncertainties’, Messums London and Wiltshire
Film ‘Making of the Man of Stones’ by Bill Jackson
Film ‘The Making of the Colossus ’ by Phil Cairney .
Expedition to Sami Land, North Finland to make portraits of and interview people from the Arctic Circle.
Delivered The Society of Portrait Sculptors annual lecture, National Portrait Gallery
2021 Installation of ‘A Rich Seam’, Mining monument in Doncaster City Centre
Commissioned to create, ‘Homecoming’ 6ft figure of Norman soldier, Ebbsfleet, Kent.
Installation of ‘The Yoxman’ 26ft high bronze figure, ‘Wilderness Reserve’ A12, Yoxford, Suffolk.
Major private commission, for five ‘8 ft Walking Men’.
Commission to create 12 ft ‘Carrier’
2022 ‘Yoxman’ (While the whole earth changed its tune) film by Phil Cairney of the four year making of a 26 ft high bronze colossus. Premiered at The Aldeburgh Festival.