Stephen J Winterburn is a self-taught artist whose creative development has been fuelled by his conviction, immense energy and curiosity. Possessing an innate comprehension of engineering and design enables him to explore his passion for challenge and experimentation.
Stephen J Winterburn began teaching himself to sculpt in 1994. With the progression of his sculpting an ambition emerged to personally shape each piece of his work from concept to completion. He had entrusted the casting of his earlier bronzes to the established foundries. But the delays in delivering his work became frustrating and he was disillusioned by the changes that resulted from not handling the finishing stages himself.
In 2002 Stephen J Winterburn moved to Yorkshire, in the north of England, and began converting the vast workshop next to his house in to the current nine-room studio and foundry.
It was here he started to experiment in order to gain an understanding of the entire process that is traditionally a closely guarded secret handed down between foundry men. The challenges included mastering mould making skills and the lost wax impression of the moulds from which a one off ceramic mould is made ready for the bronze pouring; expanding his expertise with chasing the bronze (refining his ability to hand work the malleable surface) and with the patina (colours). These stages are normally undertaken by a succession of different people, each skilled in their particular phase of the evolving sculpture.
Involvement with a diversity of initiatives has taken Stephen J Winterburn to India, Peru, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Australia and Ethiopia, sculpting people and animals. In the UK he exhibits with the Halcyon Bruton Street gallery who have also sold his work in the famous Harrods and Selfridges stores.
His sculptures have been auctioned at Christie and Sotheby's and Monaco Fine Arts sell Steve's work in Monte Carlo. He's exhibited with LAPADA (the antiques federation) at their shows and twice with The Wildlife Arts Society at the Westminster Gallery where in 1998 he won the award for best 3 dimensional piece.
Stephen J Winterburn's most recent exhibition was at the Royal Academy in London. Current projects include developing designs for two statues, which will be huge public pieces of art commemorating the rugby league players Clive Sullivan and Peter "Flash" Flanagan. A recently completed figurative piece is to help raise funds for Alzheimer's research and young boxers to have brain scans - this may extend to a further commission to produce a life size sculpture.
He has been invited to and had sittings at Buckingham Palace to do a portrait of the Duke of Edinburgh. He has just completed a life size bust of Jim Cronin and Charlie the Chimp which will be on display at Monkey World from October 2008. Jim Cronin was one of the Founders of Monkey World - The Ape Rescue Centre in Dorset, UK. Steve will be holding an exhibition in Barbados 5th - 8th February 2010. The complete collection was sold.
Stephen J Winterburn has spent the past few months designing and sculpting maquettes for a new project - the Welsh Dragon. This commission is intended to be on a par with the Angel of the North, and will be situated in Wales
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