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2012 Finalists • Broomhill National Sculpture Prize

The ten finalists

Ten emerging sculptors were carefully selected at the beginning of this year by a top judging panel comprising internationally renowned sculptor Abigail Fallis; celebrated artist Rupert Gatfield; Dean Sampson, Creative Director at Bray Leino; Kate Jago, editor of Proof Magazine and Broomhill owners, Rinus and Aniet Van de Sande. Each of the ten finalists had a £1,000 budget and three months to turn their proposed idea into an inspiring finished piece for the Summer Exhibition. The final ten sculptures are now on display at Broomhill until Spring 2013.

Graham Guy-Robinson - Permanently Temporary 2012

Permanently Temporary 2012 by Graham Guy-Robinson • Click to enlarge

2012 National Sculpture Prize - Results Announced

Congratulations to Graham Guy-Robinson and Oliver Adams!

The judging panel selected ‘Permanently Temporary 2012’ by Graham Guy-Robinson as the overall winner for 2012.

The sculpture that captured visitors attention the most this year and winner of the Public Speaks title is ‘Yielding Ash’ by Oliver Adams.

“Working in advertising and design I was pleasantly surprised to see parallels with the level of conceptual thinking and rationale in many of the proposals. This depth of thought undoubtably contributed to the success of the finalists and the eventual winners.” • Dean Sampson, NSP Judge and Creative Director at Bray Leino

Oliver Adams • Yielding Ash

‘Public Speaks’ Winner

Oliver Adams Oliver Adams - Yielding Ash

Artist Statement

I am a wood sculptor. My work ranges from large tree sculptures, to smaller, more intricate pieces, in which I provoke and enhance the behavioural aspects of wood. As well as my elemental interest in woodcarving, there is a central line of enquiry that runs through my practise. This examines the cultural significance of wood, psychologically and in terms of practical usage.


In 2010 Oliver graduated with a BA in Fine Art from the Arts University College at Bournemouth. The following year he completed a Masters Degree in Fine Art with distinction. He has exhibited work in London, Bournemouth and the Isle of Wight as part of university, group-led exhibitions and public commissions. Oliver currently lives and works in North Dorset.

Edward Baldwin • Poise: Shifting Skies

Edward Baldwin - Poise: Shifting Skies Edward Baldwin - Poise: Shifting Skies

Artist Statement

Poise: Shifting Skies is my own abstract vision of movement and change in an extraordinary enigmatic form. The sculpture is developed from an experience of challenging the material and process with our emotion and conceptualisation.

The sculpture is created from undulating porcelain rings on a steel framework. The reflective surface of the supporting structure is a representation of our own individuality within our environment.

Being a ceramicist, clay has many metaphorical understandings and connotations for use. Porcelain is recognised for domestic use however in this case I want to highlight the unique aesthetic capabilities and emotional impact of the material. The porcelain reflects the pure uncomplicated reassurance of our skies and our ever-changing choices and independence.

Valentine Clays


Edward Baldwin gained a first class honours in ceramics at Cardiff School of Art and Design in 2010. Since then he has exhibited widely and has gained many notable achievements. In 2011 Edward gained a ‘Grants for the Arts’ from the Arts Council England and support from his local authority, Worcestershire County Council for development of his practice. Most recently Edward exhibited at the Danish National Ceramics Gallery and British Ceramics Biennial.

Ann Balmforth • Recumbent

Ann Balmforth Ann Balmforth - Recumbent

Artist Statement

The primal instinct and intrinsic need to express ourselves by the sense of touch, experience the sensation of a soft, supple, outside layer before becoming absorbed by the invisible mass inside as it begins to yield to the firm, enquiring hand.

It moves, settles...all tension dispersed...and is then last for a moment. At times this shift in form can be captured; an ephemeral moment where volume and mass are combined, retained, entombed together, hence creating a permanent record of the past.

The hessian forms are filled with Portland cement in situ ensuring fluidity of movement before it begins to harden. This unpredictability creates its own energy, which will continue as time passes and nature takes hold.



Ann Balmforth lives in Wakefield and is in her final year of a BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art for Design at Batley School of Art. Ann made the decision to return to higher education having been inspired by the Henry Moore exhibits at the nearby Yorkshire Sculpture Park. With such a great source of reference material on her doorstep it is of no surprise that she has emerged as a sculptor.

Michael Branthwaite • From Afar

Special Commendation

Michael Branthwaite Michael Branthwaite - From Afar

Artist Statement

My interests are mainly focused on ‘plastic poetry’ a term I use to describe the creation of objects that have wider aesthetic resonance. Using items and material from daily living, I attempt to create dialogues and conceptual meaning from disparate and everyday materials. These are selected so they have a familiar and strong personal resonance, offering a way into the work through familiarity.

As an artist I am motivated by the questions raised when ideologies become reality, or at least attempt to manifest themselves in reality, using modernism as a vehicle to explore this my work often disturbs and unsettles the ethos of its making, questioning its own truths and its ability to converse its self-meaning to the viewer.


Michael Branthwaite Graduated from Sunderland University in 2000 with a BA Hons in Sculpture. Since then he has shown work internationally focusing on site-related commissions. He has undertaken commissions for the Wirksworth Festival in Derbyshire and Platomas Train Station in Greece. Recent works include Saatchi at the A Foundation ‘Northern Stars’ and ‘Present Tense’ at Quenington Sculpture Trust.

Richard Cresswell • Comet

Richard Cresswell Richard Cresswell - Comet

Artist Statement

My abstract work has always been large sculptural and outdoors which is where I find inspiration, I have a love of nature’s curves which appear everywhere I look, in rivers, rocks, the sky or human body to name but four.

I enjoy creating work where the viewer can move around the work and find new aspects, as in Comet where it should be circumnavigated to see it change from a tear drop to the curve of a woman’s hips to a comet to a comedy nose and even the bow of a super tanker.

Moving from wood to metal as a medium gained the ability to concentrate on accuracy, finishes and not be constrained by the limitations of a tree.


I have spent a lot of my working life in engineering and design constrained by client expectations, convention and cost, now as a sculptor I am free from all those constraints allowing my creativity to be freed!

I studied Fine art for 4 years at Warwick college and Birmingham City University. I won the Ikon Gallery prize for the best in my degree show along with a ‘first’.

Mary George • Disco Tree

Special Commendation

Mary George Mary George - Disco Tree

Artist Statement

My sculpture is directly linked to the notion of manifest destiny and fits into the scope of my work as the self- proclaimed Leader of the Cult of the Endorphin. If you make an object from the world or logic of your imagination’s desire, then so might your world become! If your work is designed to make you strong and satisfied, then this will be the reality. It could be said that this sculpture refers to a technological break down or a recycling/re-aligning of values that reveal more primitive forms of enjoyment. It could be said to be a resurrection or shadow of the concept of ‘glory days’ in the meadow in the form of a Disco Tree.


Mary George has lived all across America. Her nomadic upbringing continued to fuel her artistic pursuits bringing her to London. Living outside of her homeland has enabled her to develop a unique perspective, fuelled by a fascination of being slightly ‘other’. She is the Leader of the Cult of the Endorphin, an ongoing art/life project that encourages all in her wake to pursue natural highs, one of her responses to living in Britain.

Robert Hitzeman • Tetschen Bolt

Robert Hitzeman Robert Hitzeman - Tetschen Bolt

Artist Statement

My work revolves around the exploration of the artificial and its relationship to biological processes of explosive growth and decay. In my work I combine trans-historical, cross cultural, and interdisciplinary imagery; placing ‘artifacts’ in the same context as industrial and petrochemical materials as a means of deconstructing the signifiers of the past to utilise them in contemporary context. When expressing these concepts I approach sculpture in the broader sense of the term as a manipulation of space, the result of artistic processes, or in the action of art making itself blurring the line between performance, installation and sculpture.


Robert Hitzeman graduated with a BFA in sculpture and installation arts from San Jose State University in California, USA. He worked as a fabricator for Stoller Studio and For the Artist David Middlebrook for several years. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums Internationally. In 2011 he was accepted into Chelsea Art and Design’s MA Fine arts program. He currently lives and works in London, UK.

Graham Guy-Robinson • Permanently Temporary 2012

2012 NSP Winner

Graham Guy-Robinson Graham Guy-Robinson - Permanently Temporary 2012

About the Artist

Guy-Robinson is interested in notions of territory. Temporary fencing is a familiar feature in our everyday surroundings. It may be so flimsy we could put a foot through it, but we tend to treat it like some effective barrier. It describes new domains — even if, by the very nature of the material that defines them, these are transient.

“Guy-Robinson wants his work to explore these qualities in a wider sense. Challenging our preconceptions of outdoor sculpture as solid and monumental, his structures seem to question their very status as objects. It’s not the barrier that matters to him, but the constantly shifting dialogue that a barrier, by its very presence, promotes. It’s not the physical structure that matters so much as the moment of interruption it creates. This is the moment that opens up possibilities.” Rachel Campbell–Johnston, Art Critic, The Times

Stainless Lloyds Refinishers CourierForce


Graham Guy-Robinson studied BA (hons) first class, Margaret Street Birmingham, MA Fine Art Theory Practise, UCE 2004. Selected exhibitions include, Jerwood Sculpture Prize, Jerwood Space London, Bay Art Cardiff, Northern Print Biennale, Hatton Gallery Newcastle. Guy-Robinson is an associate of the Royal British Society Sculptors and currently the recipient of a Plymouth Arts Centre studio bursary.

Helen Snell • Plinth 1, 2, 3

Helen Snell Helen Snell - Plinth 1, 2, 3

Artist Statement

I am interested in the concept of the imperfect edition. I often produce seemingly identical pieces that are systematically subverted. This series continues my preoccupation with the theme of survival. Our relationship with the natural world is one of pleasure tainted with guilt, anxiety, impending punishment and a collective sense of hubris. The figures in Plinth are the load bearers. The load is a nebulous, dirty organic mass, difficult to quantify or determine.

The figures carry burgeoning seeds/embryos within their bellies and brains – seeds of creation and destruction. The slotted symmetrical structure can be seen to suggest inevitability or obligation, sexual coupling, the symmetry of cell division and reproduction, the simple playfulness of a child’s construction set.

WaterJet Seawhite of Brighton Alphatech


Helen studied Fine Art and French at Exeter University and at L’Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Dijon. In 1995 she completed an M.A. in Fine Art Printmaking at Camberwell College of Arts and Illustration at the Royal College of Art. Recent large scale public commissions include paper installations for Dartington Arts, Torre Abbey, The National Museum of the Royal Navy and Wolverhampton Art Gallery. In 2010 Helen was granted The Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust Award for research into laser cutting. Helen was selected as a finalist for the Power- house Museum International Lace Award in Sydney, Australia in 2011.

Ian Stoney • Metamorph

Special Commendation

Ian Stoney Ian Stoney - Metamorph

Artist Statement

My current practice explores the use of industrial materials and objects to create sculptures that play on structures and forms found in nature, producing uncanny combinations and juxtapositions. Metamorph draws visual and functional comparisons between man-made and natural forms, taking inspiration from natural storage organs such as tubers and roots vegetables. The sculpture has been created from a compressed gas cylinder, resulting in a mutation of form, transgressing from man-made industrial object to seemingly organic root forms.


Ian studied Fine Art: Sculpture at Winchester School of Art, graduating in 2011. He was selected for the Affordable Art Fair’s recent graduates exhibition in 2011, showing his piece Synthesis at both Battersea and Hampstead shows. He has subsequently worked on commissions for a variety of international private collections. He currently lives in London and works as a welder in a sculpture foundry.

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