Viewing Room

Sean Henry: The artist discusses his recent work

20th October 2016

So much has been happening with Sean Henry since his last show at Osborne Samuel Gallery in 2012. In the last year alone he has had solo exhibitions in New York, Brussels and Bad Homburg, Germany. Sean’s work has continued to evolve, both in scale and complexity, his working methods are the same, his subjects perhaps more challenging and diverse. His sculptures continue to surprise and in settings as diverse as Glyndebourne Opera or the lofty heights of Salisbury Cathedral they take on a new dimension, composing a new and stimulating dialogue with the viewer. His figures are never static, always on the cusp of an unknown transformative experience, either spiritual and physical. The clay models as they evolve are kept literally under wraps, mainly to keep them damp, so a studio visit often involves a degree of guesswork as to what exactly is going on under the covers. On a recent visit we saw the new sitting man in progress and we began to discuss how we might cast a sculpture in bronze at this point in its evolution, thus emphasising the visceral strength of the unfinished figure. Sean has experimented with this concept, first with the ‘Dinner Table’ sculpture, and some others which are more loosely modelled with monochromatic paint finishes. These figures, closer to the original clay, perhaps ask more of the imagination of the viewer.
Video credit: Cathy Sayers at With music contributions from