When Anne-Katrin Purkiss photographed F.E. McWilliam in London in 1989, neither could have envisaged that, more than 30 years later, the image would hang in a museum dedicated to the sculptor in his birthplace, Banbridge, County Down.
In the years since that serendipitous meeting, Anne-Katrin Purkiss has photographed dozens of sculptors, often in their studios. Sculptors at Work includes a selection of 40 of these portraits. Some, like McWilliam’s friend Elisabeth Frink, are engaged in the physical act of making. Others, including Irish artist Eva Rothschild, appear to wait patiently for the process to be over so that they can get back to work.
The artists included represent the diversity of contemporary sculpture, which is no longer limited by materials, permanence, gender or ethnicity.
A selection of work by artists including Elizabeth Frink, Kenneth Armitage, Tim Shaw, Geoffrey Clarke and Rana Begum, loaned by public and private collections, will be exhibited alongside the portraits reminding us that the origins of these images are in the act of making.