Designer chosen for Nancy Astor statue

An artist has been chosen to sculpt the statue of Nancy Astor, the first female MP to sit in the UK Parliament.

A judging panel has chosen Hayley Gibbs as the designer. She said: “I am so honoured and excited to have my design selected for this ground-breaking piece of public art.”

Gibbs is an established sculptor based in south London who works in clay, bronze and stone to create both figurative and ornamental sculptures.

“I find particular joy in creating work of social and historical importance. Breathing new life into buildings and monuments through restoration is incredibly rewarding. My real vocation comes in creating entirely new works of art, sparking new ideas and reigniting established narratives,” Hayley said.

She studied sculpture over ten years ago at Brighton University and went on to work for a number of designers and artists. Hayley then went on to study in historic carving at City and Guilds London Art School, renowned for their world class training in heritage skills. Here she also became a member of the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST).

She has created a number of well-known works including creating work for some incredible historic sites. These include carvings for the Crimean War Memorial outside Westminster Abbey, The Old Vic Theatre and an original design for St George’s chapel at Windsor Castle.

“Most recently I had the pleasure of sculpting a life size bronze statue of William Shakespeare with Raphael Maklouf, New Inn Broadway Box
Office and Hackney Council. This is soon to be unveiled in Shoreditch, marking the site of the original Globe Theatre in London. This was a fantastic project and a real honour to depict such a renowned figure in literary history.”

A Crowdfunding campaign had been set-up to fund the statue, with a target of £125,000. This was met on January 30th, allowing the project to move into the commissioning stage.

The statue is planned to be erected in Plymouth later this year to mark the 100th anniversary of Lady Astor’s election as MP for Plymouth Sutton on November 28th, 1919.

Stuart Clarke

Author: Stuart Clarke

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