Gill Parker1957 -
Born: August 21, 1957
Best known for her equestrian sculptures, Gill Parker sculpts a wide range of animals. Her bronzes attempt to capture the mood and movement of each individual animal, as she has made it her goal with every sculpture to convey it's individual spirit. Her goal is to imbue each subject with dignity and beauty, and does not create sentimental portraits.
Sculpting was initially only a hobby for Parker until 1983, when she decided to make a career out of her love for the art. An animal lover since childhood, Parker was initially influenced by the work of Frederic Remington and his contemporaries. Parker is primarily self-taught, and she quickly began to develop a style all her own, not wanting to become an offshoot of earlier masters.
Parker's Giraffe (1999), shows her current trend of portraying animals aside from horses. It also serves to demonstrate her movement towards a less detailed style, with the smooth curving lines of the giraffe's neck that leads seamlessly into the body. The orange patina is indicative of her recent experiments with a wider variety of shades, and how they affect the mood of the subject.
Below is Gill Parker's Artist Statement:
"It may sound like a cliche but my greatest inspiration really does come from the natural world. I have always had a fascination with animals, long before it became clear that I would have a career as an artist. I was horse mad as a child and always had pets. The first bronzes I saw were those of the Animaliere school and Remington. Although I admire them, and some of my earlier works were probably influenced by the animaliers in particular, I quickly tried to develop my own style, and made a conscious effort to not look at other artist's sculpture. I used to make a lot of equestrian sculpture, but for the last four years or so I have concentrated more on wildlife. I also used to work in a lot of detail and still can if a particular commission demands it, but generally, to create the image I want with the wildlife subjects, I have simplified my style and experimented with some new and different patinas. To me, the challenge is to take an animal and find the way to portray its particular feel, character, and movement: to try and get beneath the surface and find its spirit. There is a point in the making of a sculpture when it seems to take on a life of its own and I still find this whole creation process fascinating and exciting.
I'm not sure if I really believe it is harder for a woman artist, any more than in any other field. Maybe sometimes people think they can take advantage, but as I'm never likely to know what its like to be a male artist its difficult to say! As an artist who sells internationally it can sometimes be difficult dealing with countries whose culture does not see woman as equal members of society, but this is unusual. I always hope that people will judge me solely on the quality of my work, after all its my work that they will have to live with, not me!
What about the future? I am looking forward to the opportunity to work on more exciting projects. I am increasingly being asked to make more large, monumental pieces, which are going all over the world."