New work from Brixham based artist Elisabeth Hadley will go on display this month as part of Devon Open Studios.
Elisabeth, who won a commission at the start of 2022 to produce a commemorative sculpture of Agatha Christie, works from her Brixham studio and specialises in figurative sculpting and bronze casting. Celebrating the life and work of the author, the artwork commissioned by Torbay Council as part of the Strand and harbour renewal and improvement scheme and will ultimately be situated on Torquay’s harbourside, overlooking the Bay that Christie was so fond of.
A first glimpse of the sculpture in progress was recently revealed on Alan Carr’s Adventures with Agatha Christie, with Alan catching up with Elisabeth as she worked in the studio to chat about why she’d chosen a “young Agatha” for her depiction of the famous crime author.
Whilst continuing to work on the large scale commission, which will depict a life size Agatha (complete with four-legged companion) sat on a bench for visitors to share a moment with, Elisabeth has also this year produced several new limited edition works which will now display for the first time as part of the Devon wide arts event.
Devon Open Studios features annually in September and is the highlight of the Southwest arts calendar, organised by Devon Artist Network (DAN) which promotes, celebrates and champions the regions arts. For sixteen days the networks’ members throw open their doors to visitors or occupy venues and spaces across the region, offering an intimate look at their work and practice, delivering demonstrations and running workshops for visitors. For collectors, it is truly an unmissable event.
Elisabeth’s works, which capture the human form with stunning accuracy and frequently diverge into depictions of mythological figures, are cast as limited edition bronzes and cold cast resins, with work produced in a range of sizes and patina finishes. She will feature as one of nine artists at The Sculpture Studio, a unique venue for Devon Open Studios hosted at Artizan Gallery, that exclusively features sculptural art from professional artists working at the height of their respective fields. Alongside Elisabeth the exhibition will feature works of Nyk Pimm-Smith, Ezra Bailey, Jennifer Amon, Anthony Barclay, Sara Evans, Edward King, Liz Watts ASWA, Allan Poxton and Jonne Ceserani. Works range from contemporary ceramics to atmospheric lighting sculptures, as well as statement bronzes and striking metalworking.
But perhaps the statement piece from Elisabeth is her newest work, a small edition run of a gorgeous Torbay seal standing at 50cm high and diving gracefully through sea grass fronds. Much like the Agatha Christie commission the piece has its roots in Torbay, inspired by Elisabeth’s affinity for the water on which, as a kayak instructor, she has had numerous interactions with the Bay’s friendly sea dwelling residents.
Devon Open Studios runs from 10–25 September and Elisabeth’s work can be viewed permanently at Artizan Gallery, Lucius Street. For more information on the event and what’s happening across Torbay, visit www.artizangallery.co.uk/dos