BRYAN ELLERY

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‘As part of Humanity we are still individually unique, and in my portraits I love to record the special presence of each of my sitters using the shimmering beauty of bronze.’

Celebrated sculptor Bryan Ellery has travelled the world producing bronze portraits of adults, children and animals. He builds up his distinctive portraits with tiny pieces of clay, in the hope of retaining something of the abstract looseness when the portrait emerges in the seductive, surface glint of the bronze.

His sitters include celebrated scientists, ambassadors and aristocracy he sees all faces proclaiming the beauty and diversity of mankind.

Bronze portraiture has traditionally been popular with the aristocracy, and Bryan has often had the good fortune to work in their beautiful stately homes. But though some of his sitters may happen to be well known figures in society, or members of the “glitterati”, Bryan prefers to ignore their alter egos and study them as just more examples of the beauty of humanity. He is especially known for his likenesses of children, which bring out their intrinsic and unique magic.

‘Making a portrait of another human being is a great privilege for me, and it needs certain conditions. I always work from life, in a one-to-one situation with peaceful surroundings, so that my subject's natural presence can become clear to me. It is then my job to record my impressions in the clay- a synthesis of feelings and observation.

The different ages of man present varying challenges. Best of all I love the natural life-force in a child's being-'trailing clouds of glory'. But then I am also fascinated by the mercurial complexity of the adolescent; sometimes tentative and faint, sometimes vividly overpowering.

Most difficult perhaps to portray is the sophisticated self-awareness, the mature beauty, and sometimes glorious pretensions of the adult. Later there is a certain relief in examining the weight of experience which is borne inescapably and tangibly by the older sitters. The light of wisdom shines through their features.’

Bryan Ellery’s first stab at portraiture was at the age of seven - a rather rude caricature in mud of his headmaster, for which he was given the cane! Having thankfully learned a little about diplomacy during the next few years he, at the age of 19, produced a bronze of the Professor of English at Exeter University, Moelwyn Merchant, which gained him general approval and several commissions and an Honours degree in English. This portrait is now in the library at Eton College.

He has always been fascinated by the human face, and it’s infinite variety, and has tried , over the years to throw his net as widely as possible in his choice of subjects, both in the age range (from fidgety one year olds to chatty nonagenarians), to the varying colours and characteristics available in humankind, and in their positions and skills in society.

Private and public collections include:
Blenheim Palace
Royal Acadamy of Music
Eton College Library
St. Petersburg Conservatoire
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

UK Exhibitions include:
The Royal Academy Summer Show"The Discerning Eye"
"The Royal Society of British Artists"
"The Society of Portrait Sculptors".

International exhibitions: Hong Kong, Belgium and Singapore.

Commissions include:
The Earl of Gowrie
Prime Minister of Hong Kong
Marquis of Linlithgow
Viscount Windsor
Julie Christie
Earl of Sunderland
Ben Okri OBE FRSL ipoet and novelist
Baron von Oppenheim
le Conte Guy De Tilly
Dr Neal Blewett (Australian High Commissioner) London.
Andrew Dalton (Previous Mayor Kensington & Chelsea)
Erik De Mauny ( journalist, author, and the BBC's first Moscow correspondent)
Richard Ingrams (Editor Private Eye)
John Napper (Artist)
Patience Agbabi (Poet & Performer)
Sir John Mortimer (barrister, dramatist, screenwriter, and author)
Sir Alistair Horne (historian) Oxford
Sir Elihu Lauterpacht (International Lawyer)
Cambridge, Sir Donald Tsang (Chief Executive) Hong Kong
George Chau (shipping magnate)
Dr Neal Blewett (Australian High Commissioner) London.
Sir Alistair Horne (historian) (Oxford),
Allan Murray (Chairman of the "Hong Kong Club") (Hong Kong),
Ranjit Sondhi (Governor of the BBC) (BBC, London),
Francis Gouten (C.E.O. Richemont Asia.)(Hong Kong),
Sir Donald Tsang (Chief Executive, Hong Kong S.A.R.)(Hong Kong),
Nicky Johnston (architect)(Scotland),
Nick Austin (retired Editor)(London).