Photograph by Sabine Tilly
Bernard McGuigan was born in Britain in 1956, and started making sculpture aged 16.
Formerly an associate of the Royal Society of British Sculptors, he has exhibited widely including The Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition. His work has been featured in many exhibitions and is in a number of private and public collections both in the UK and around the world.
In the tradition of the 20th Century Sculptors, such as Modigliani, Gill, Hepworth and Moore, Bernard uses the method of direct carving by hand into the stone.
The pieces are graceful and deceptively simple, in terms of both their carving style and of their tranquil potency. When first coming across an exhibition of his work, we delight in the perceived tension between stone as a reliable and in relation to our own lives, timeless material, and what we know of the yielding (and less reliable) contours of the human body. With time this sensation may be remembered in the mind like a line from a requiem, quietly insistent.
In returning to his theme and its many variations, McGuigan does not set out to "challenge" us in the contemporary and confrontational sense of the word. There is no mention of "removing boundaries" in his mission statement. On the contrary, in a form of homage to the way that stones have long been used to mark boundaries and places of passage, his sculptures appear to define the limits of individual tenderness in a harsh and competitive world. Standing between artist and spectator, they mediate the ever-present challenge of being alive.
“It is a mistake for a sculptor to speak or write very often about his job.
It releases tension needed for the work . By trying to express his aims with rounded off logical exactness, he can easily become a theorist whose actual work is only a caged in exposition of conceptions evolved in terms of logic and words .”
The Sculptor Speaks, 1937.
McGuigan is an outstanding sculptor in stone
Writer, Art Historian & Broadcaster
McGuigan is an unusually talented and gifted sculptor
Sir Christopher Ondaatje.
Author, financier and philanthropist
Selected exhibitions and collections:
Royal Academy summer exhibition
Hamptons Designer Show House , New York
Linden Hall, Deal, Kent
Jenna Burlingham Fine Art
Rye Art Gallery
Bank of India
Forbes Foundation , New York
Aspen Corp , Bermuda
St Thomas’ Hospital, London
King Street Housing Association , Cambridge
Capitol & Provident, London
Selected print media /books:
House and Garden
The Pursuit of Paradise, Harper Collins
Sculptors Bible, A&C Black
Modern British Sculpture
Limited edition artist's book:
Form Surface & Mark Making: The Sculpture of Bernard McGuigan
Chilli pepper films; Stories in Stone
Fuji TV Japan; Artist’s Homes
BBC, Guinness in the Garden