Gary Betts: Leap of Faith

Gary Betts: Leap of Faith


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Gary uses various media, from casting in solid bronze to modelling in clay and resin, as here in Leap of Faith, which allows him to work in meticulous detail. The body of the figure has a mottled surface recalling scrimshaw, where sailors emphasised the detail of their carving with lampblack. The subject, one which Gary revisits, is of metamorphosis. Here the hesitant diver in childish blow-up ring, armbands and flippers, poses on a chair as if practising in a diving lesson, but disconcertingly the head is that of a predatory bird of prey, perhaps a sea eagle? Is this a lesson in life? Is the nature of young humans also red in tooth and claw, who knows?

In a Dutch barge moored on the Thames, the sculptor Gary Betts searches by sculpting for the ‘perfect imperfection of his earth-born, oven-backed offspring’. The result is extraordinarily varied body of work that is unique, enigmatic and often unsettling, but his sculpture is united by a sensitivity of handling and vision that speaks of humanity. For him, the subtext is as relevant as the work itself.

Born in the East End of London he came from, in his words, a tough background that was as far removed from high art as it is possible to imagine. He ‘drew his way through the national curriculum’ and enrolled at art school where enlightened tutors immediately recognized his extraordinary facility with human anatomy.

Gary is a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors and exhibits extensively both here and abroad.

More of this talented, self-taught sculptor's works are on display in our lovely Burford Art Gallery.

Materials: Clay and resin, suitable for indoors 

Dimensions (approx.): H:70cm, W: 19cm, D:37cm

Burford Garden Company is acting as an agent on behalf of the artists displaying work in this online gallery. Refunds on works are discretionary and goods must be returned within seven days of purchase, at the latest.

Please note this item is available for in store collection and for local delivery. Please contact us on 01993 823117 for a quote for mainland UK deliveries.