Business in the spotlight
The 'Living Gallery' at the Chewton Glen Hotel features stunning wire wildlife sculptures that blend perfectly with the surrounding English garden landscape. I decided to turn detective and find out exactly who had produced the many pieces of striking artwork and discovered Rupert Till.
As one of the leading contempory wire sculptors in the UK, with a career spanning 28 years, he produces life-size commissions made from bronze and steel wire to create incredible bespoke pieces that fit perfectly into any garden setting.
In 2012, he was awarded The British Sporting Art Trust Prize for Sculpture by the Society of Equestrian Artists and features annually at the RHS Chelsea Garden Show. He has completed commissions all over the world and has become a leading figure in the growing garden sculpture market, creating unique statements pieces often presented as a special gift.
What makes your sculptures truly unique?
I really love to work closely with my clients to create something incredibly personal and special. I spend time with each client in their home environment, explore the garden setting, and using pencil sketches we work together to create an idea that will eventually be interpreted into wire. When the creation is complete, I will then install the sculpture myself.
What inspired you to work with bronze & steel wire?
When I originally attended art college in the 80's & 90's there was a wave of sculptors and artists interested in recycling and upcycling so I took inspiration from my local surroundings and decided to use old rabbit wire to create the framework of my clay and resin sculptures. Rabbit wire is usually just discarded after use and I liked the malleable quality of it and the grey colour. Each piece of wire can reflect a pencil sketch stroke. I was asked by a client to use just wire without the clay, and so started my wire only sculptures. To this day I continue to use discarded and up cycled wire
You have exhibits in both in the UK & worldwide, where is your biggest following?
I have been lucky enough to travel to many places with exhibitions and commissions for clients who live overseas, for example, I have just returned from a month-long exhibition in New Zealand. I would say that the majority of my commissions come from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which is the perfect backdrop for my work.
What has been your largest or most challenging commission?
I have had numerous unusual or large projects but the one that springs to mind would be the sculpture of Inglis Driver, a race horse who won many world titles. I usually work from life, thus allowing anatomical accuracy but Inglis Driver had sadly died and therefore I had to work from videos - it took a whopping 6 months to complete, but the results were a huge success and it is now installed at Close House Golf Course by its owner.