CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to EADT Suffolk today CLICK HERE

A life in art . . . Andrew Clarke celebrates the work of sculptor Bernard Reynolds

PUBLISHED: 11:27 24 March 2015 | UPDATED: 13:08 24 March 2015

Bernard Reynolds sculpture

Bernard Reynolds sculpture

Archant

Suffolk artist Bernard Reynolds would have been 100 this year. Now his family has organised a major retrospective exhibition on Ipswich Waterfront. Andrew Clarke spoke to his daughter Kate Reynolds

Bernard Reynolds sculptureBernard Reynolds sculpture

Celebrated Suffolk sculptor Bernard Reynolds is receiving a major retrospective exhibition on the Ipswich Waterfront in what would have been his centenary year.

The exhibition has been organised by his family in conjunction with the UCS and the exhibition of drawings and various pieces of sculpture and maquettes will be dotted in and around the foyer gallery at the university.

Reynolds’ daughter Kate, an artist and ceramicist, is helping to curate the exhibition with her sister Joanna. The bulk of the exhibition has been drawn from items still in the family and some on loan from friends and collectors.

“We still have a lot in the family and we wanted to do something special to mark what would have been his 100th birthday this year.

Bernard Reynolds sculptureBernard Reynolds sculpture

“Doing it at the university would have really appealed to Dad because he spent so many years teaching at the Ipswich Art School and it is readily accessible because it is a central location.

“The centenary is a wonderful time to remind people what a phenomenal artist he was. He had tremendous energy. He was always working – teaching during the day and creating his own work at night and at weekends.”

Bernard was also commissioned to create many pieces of public sculpture in Ipswich, the most famous being The Ship outside the Civic Centre and the pylons outside the former Suffolk College.

Other public works included cement reliefs on the Castle Hill and Sprites Lane schools, a stone relief on the Eastern Counties Farmers Head Office in Princes Street and a 24 ft stained-glass window in St Matthew’s School.

Bernard Reynolds sculptureBernard Reynolds sculpture

She said that the setting up and the layout of the exhibition was going to be quite challenging because Bernard worked on such a large scale. But, she stressed that the exhibition was not just going to be about large blocks of stone or metal as they wanted to present a show which celebrated the breadth and diversity of his work.

“Dad was known as a sculptor but he was also a superb draughtsman and a wonderful engineer and we wanted the exhibition to reflect these sides of his character as well.”

She remains very proud of the fact that so many contemporary artists who were taught by her father when he was a senior tutor at the Ipswich Art School still talk so fondly of their time there.

“I think Dad really took an interest in his students and wanted to nurture their talent. He viewed them as individuals. He realised that everyone is different and that those early stages in your art career are very important. By the time you are doing your degree you are on your way but on the foundation course you are still trying to discover who you are.

“I think because of the breadth of my dad’s interest in art, he was able to give his students pointers based on their own work. He would say have a look at so-so, or these are the artists that excite me, have a look at their work and tell me what you think. He gave his students jumping off points without every telling them what they should be doing.

“And the students kept him young. It was very much a two-way affair. He would excited by their new ways of looking at the world and the art school in the 1960s and 70s was much smaller, more of a family affair, and you got to know everyone as an individual.”

Kate said the heart of his teaching was concerned with allowing his students to perfect technique and get to understand the materials they were working with. “For Dad everything started with the materials and having the right tools and approaching a project in a particular way was very important.”

Bernard’s own work covered a vast array of different forms and he worked in a wide range of materials from stone, metal, concrete and wood.

There will be about 22 sculptural pieces on display, the largest being human height and some “pretty hefty” which the family hope will make a statement to students and visitors to the university.

“We also want to display some of his smaller, inter-active works where people have to open doors or turn handles. They are made of wood and demonstrate what an exceptional engineer he was. Everything was made by hand and they continue to work beautifully.

“I remember one piece of automata called The Cyclops took him 20 years to make because it was full of hand-made cogs which he would work on for a while, put aside to work on something else and then come back to it. When he finished it, it was amazing. He had incredible focus.”

Many of Reynolds drawings and photographs, many unseen for 40 years, will also be on display.

The exhibition, 100 Years: Bernard Reynolds is at the UCS Waterfront building until May 6.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other EADT Suffolk Magazine visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by EADT Suffolk Magazine staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique EADT Suffolk Magazine account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Fri, 17:47

A typical part of the Suffolk village scene is the village sign, standing tall in a prominent part of the area and succinctly giving you an insight into the area’s history. Here are 15 Suffolk town or village signs and what they mean

Read more
Tue, 13:42

If you’re looking for someone to enjoy a few days in Suffolk this festive period then look no further than these 6 gorgeous locations

Read more
Tue, 09:44

Christmas is a wonderful time to spend with loved ones and there’s no better place to do that than Suffolk, with its outstanding natural beauty, charming villages and festive foodie delights

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

From Waveney and the Suffolk coast to Dedham Vale, these 19 pictures are guaranteed to get you exploring the beautiful towns and countryside of Suffolk this winter

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Suffolk in winter time is a magical place to be. There are Christmas markets, chilly walks, and days by the blustery seaside to be had. These 17 nostalgic pictures will definitely bring out that unique festive feeling.

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Invitation to View tours reveal the surprising wartime roles of East Anglia’s historic town and country properties | Words & Photos: Lindsay Want

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Are you searching for places to go this winter? Suffolk has some truly magical places simply perfect for a day out with the family that are sure to get you feeling festive. Here are 9 locations you have to visit over the Christmas holiday

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

As the season of parties approaches, hotel and restaurateur Milsoms is itself celebrating a milestone for one of its popular venues | Words: Ross Bentley

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Lindsay Want wanders the pilgrims’ paths and concrete runways around Horham, Denham and Redlingfield

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Not many people know it but a lot of your favourite films have been made in Suffolk. From blockbusters to independent, here are 21 films made in Suffolk.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

EADT Suffolk Magazine weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search