Meet the Artist - Gill Parker

Meet the Artist - Gill Parker

Gill Parker is an accomplished horsewoman, living in rural Gloucestershire, and breeds and shows American Quarter Horses with which she has won many European and National championships. As a member of the Society of Equestrian Artists, she also creates exceptional bronze pieces which clearly reflect her love and working knowledge of animals and, in particular, horses. 

Admirers of her work have said “Her innovative style and sense of anatomical form is quite extraordinary. She manages to combine exceptional accuracy with dramatic interpretation to provide a captivating mix […]”

A leader in the field of equine and wildlife sculpture, Gill’s work is diverse in its subject matter, and follows not only equestrian themes, but also features British wildlife, big game, as well as domestic animal subjects. Her work is also versatile in its scale, with pieces ranging from a diminutive 15cm x15cm sized ‘Toad’ to the monumental Life size Horse, twelve foot Blue Marlin, and ‘Cheetah’. Her style is an elegant combination of classical and contemporary, sculpting faithful representations of her subjects in a precise yet graceful fashion - about which the Duke of Bedford impassionedly remarks “She manages somehow not only to give her work a great sense of movement, but also make them wonderfully tactile”
 
Describing her own true-to-life work and style Gill says “I don’t make sculpture to shock, make statements, or needing explanation, I want to make sculpture that is a ‘standalone’ thing of beauty, based on the perfect forms of nature”. Although she is noted for her animal sculpture, Gill says she doesn’t limit herself to that subject, and enjoys the challenges of accepting commissions for ‘unfamiliar’ subjects, saying “I enjoy researching historical and otherwise unfamiliar subjects and I have had the pleasure of producing sculptures as diverse as silver presentation pieces for the Royal Navy to the original ‘Brit’ award.” 

Gill’s interest in sculpture was piqued whilst studying A Level Art at South Wilts Grammar School, in the Cathedral  Cit of Salisbury. She describes her first foray into the creative arena of sculpture as “momentous”, stating that when carving a figure out of soap she had a moment of realisation that she had “found the thing I loved to do”. 

Despite her newfound artistic passion, Gill didn’t initially pursue a career in art and, instead, followed a number of other career paths before, fortuitously, meeting with a local artist who encouraged her to cast one of her sculptures in bronze. Gill did indeed follow this advice and, in May 1983, took her first couple of bronzes to London where a spontaneous flash of fearless spirit and her unquestionable talent saw both pieces bought by luxury jewellers Garrards, and a further order placed by Aspreys.

She soon received the support and backing of illustrious London gallery, the Sladmore, through which she made her first major commission - a bronze sculpture of brood mare Mrs Moss - for the Duke of Bedford at the family seat of Woburn Abbey. In November 1984, this collaboration and endorsement with the internationally renowned experts in sculpture led to her holding her first one woman show. 

Since then Gill has built up an esteemed reputation, with her work now highly sought-after by art collectors on an international scale. Her work is displayed in numerous public, private and Royal collections, and she has many major commissions to her name, including the impressive life-size bronze sculpture of 
British Thoroughbred racehorse Motivator, featured galloping at full stretch, for Ascot Racecourse.
 

Her attention to detail at every stage of the sculpting and casting process undoubtedly contributes to the fine nature, and subsequent popularity of her work. Gill considers her relationship with her casting team to be integral to the coherence and quality of the final piece, saying “I enjoy working with a great bunch of people, most of which, I have known and worked with for many years […] These are skilled people who know how I work and the quality I require.”. This attentive inquiry and unwavering pursuit of precision has earned the artist much praise: “undoubtedly the most talented sculptors of her generation” and “Gill Parker is in the top flight of animal sculpture in Britain today” being just a couple of the admiring remarks made in her recognition.

No surprise, then, that she has a distinguished following, and her bronzes are owned by some very prominent people including the late HM The Queen and Baroness Thatcher, The Prince & Princess of Wales, and the Duchess of Bedford, Henrietta Russell...who said of the acclaimed artist “Gill is one of the most talented artists I have ever encountered. Her love of the animal – and the essence, character and soul of whatever she touches – comes through.”

Head over to Gill’s collection page on our online gallery to browse through her dynamic and wonderfully tactile bronze sculpture.


REFERENCES
https://www.gillparker.com/about-gill-parker/
https://www.gillparker.com/commissions/
https://www.gillparker.com/blog/the-accidental-sculptor-how-it-all-began-by-gill-parker/
https://sladmore.com/about-us/
https://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/behind-the-scenes-at-royal-ascot-the-royal-statues-shared-archive/

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