Bruce Denny only took up sculpture four years ago, but his stock has risen dramatically having already exhibited at illustrious spaces such as the Mayfair Gallery and the Albemarle Gallery soon after putting his first collection together.
I caught up with Denny at the unveiling of his new sculpture, The Conversion of St Paul, which is part of the Images of St Paul’s in the 21st Century exhibition, celebrating the 300th anniversary of Christopher Wren’s building.
The Suffolk-born artist said: “I had some pieces in the HSBC private bank in Mayfair, which was the launching pad for this. The people who were running the exhibition at the cathedral saw the pieces and invited me to participate in this, so the reaction to my work has been incredible.”
Denny is among more than 60 artists featured in the three-month exhibition, and he’s thrilled to showcase his work at the cathedral.
“I’m the only sculptor to be selected in this exhibition, all the rest are painters”, he said. “Firstly it’s exciting to be the only sculptor, and secondly it’s exciting to have the opportunity to create such an amazing piece in such a fantastic position in the cathedral.”
The sculpture shows the moment Paul was blinded by the light from Jesus – an important moment in the bible – which has been documented in various paintings, but often with Paul already on the ground.
Denny said: “I thought it would be really good to be able to capture the point he was actually struck by the light – in sculpture it’s great to have something that’s really dynamic and exciting.”
Denny’s style is contemporary but with a classical twist, and he believes London also has that mix, so it is therefore the perfect place to exhibit his work.
“I personally really love the combination of classical and contemporary, and you see it everywhere in London – especially in the City”, he said. “You’ve got all these incredible new buildings going up in glass, and St Paul’s just sits so well amongst that.”
Images of St Paul’s in the 21st Century takes place in the crypt at St Paul’s from 21 September until 15 October. Bruce Denny’s sculpture is positioned in the South Churchyard of St Paul’s Cathedral until 7 Jan 2011.