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.
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