Topic: Nic Clegg: Strangers in a Crowd
‘Strangers in a Crowd’ is Tauranga sculptor Nic Clegg’s first solo exhibition in New Zealand.
Nic moved from Manchester to the Bay of Plenty in September 2008 and has since gained the reputation of one of the region’s foremost sculptural talents.
Nic’s preferred medium is steel which he manipulates using hammer and heat to create his fabulous pieces.
Nic Clegg hard at work in his studio March 2012.
The upcoming show is a collection of Nic’s figurative work depicting people from his English past and those he has met more recently since settling in New Zealand with his partner Kirsty and two children.
“Nearly everyone is known to me except a few strangers,” says Nic.
“These strangers are real people I have come across whether it be in the bank, in a pub or just walking down the street.
“I do not know them yet, perhaps I never will but they all have a quirk, something that has generated an interest and a second look,” Nic explains.
Some of the sculpted figures that will feature in the exhibition.
A large number of these beautifully sculpted pieces make up a crowd scene.
The crowd may be listening to a street orator or it may be a political husting, a religious meeting or just some person on a soapbox ranting inanely in public.
The image of the street meeting is taken from a painting by L.S. Lowry that hung on Nic’s living room wall while he was growing up in the North of England.
The stick-like figurines pay homage to Lowry’s paintings of people in his famous depictions of England’s northern industrial cities.
“As a child with politically active parents we were quite often taken on protest marches and this collection of figures reminds me of the sometimes highly animated meetings that usually followed,” says Nic.
‘Strangers in a Crowd’ with the subtitle ‘From Industrial Heartland to a Land of Plenty’ opens at Red Spot Gallery in Rotorua on Thursday, March 29 at 5.30pm.
Nic’s exhibition runs until May 10, 2012.
by Pete Morris (March 2012)
Pete Morris is an occasional painter and an art lover. He is a free-lance writer who has a particular interest in promoting the visual arts in Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty.
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