Friday March 26th
Sean Henry’s highly anticipated ‘Walking Woman’ arrives on Commercial Way,
A new and captivating sculpture created by internationally recognised local artist Sean Henry has been unveiled on Commercial Way, raising the bar high in Woking’s commitment to sharing the very best public art for residents and visitors to the town centre to enjoy.
At seven feet tall, Woking’s ‘Walking Woman’ is the latest in a series of larger than life sized and much-loved sculptures enjoying prominence in key areas of the town centre.
Located near to Woking’s two iconic residential towers, The Marches, this new artistic addition reflects a commitment to create new, stimulating and high quality environments that revitalise public spaces and recognise the importance of culture within the tapestry of the town’s dramatic transformation.
Born in Woking, many of Sean Henry’s sculptures are located across the UK, Europe and the US in public spaces, squares, coastlines and moorlands.
Created from clay, then cast in bronze and painted to withstand the elements, Sean’s sculptures often assume thoughtful, contemplative poses, playing with proportions to disrupt our thoughts – often changing scale to create a striking visual and psychological contrasts.
Walking Woman joins a group of Henry’s figures that were installed in Woking in 2017 following the artist’s successful solo show at The Lightbox Museum.
The original group includes the popular ‘Standing Man’, which enjoys a prominent outlook over Jubilee Square. Three further sculptures will join the group later in 2021 within the Victoria Place development, two of which will be located in Henry Plaza, leaving Woking with the largest collection of Sean Henry sculptures in the world.
Sean’s new artistic works for Woking were first revealed earlier this month during a virtual tour of his studio in conjunction with The Lightbox museum and gallery.
Of ‘Walking Woman’, Sean says he hopes his works will become a focal point for Woking and act as a place to meet and bring people together.
“There’s an air of positivity about the new sculpture. Despite being anonymous she has an inner confidence, which I hope comes through,” Sean said. “She is dressed neutrally, with few accessories or embellishments, so that the viewer can focus and speculate more on her internal life.”
Born in Pirbright, Henry has donated two of his artworks to The Lightbox Museum. ‘Sleeper’ – a 1.1m high painted bronze sculpture depicting a woman carrying a small solider, and ‘Great Western Man’, a colour drawing of a man in a long military-style coat and cowboy hat.
“I’m delighted that my work has been so warmly received and that the positivity shown towards them has created a strong artistic link across the town. I hope they will bring a lot of people into the town,” Sean said.
Peter Robinson, managing director of Moyallen, which is leading the Victoria Place development with Woking Borough Council, said:
“A local man with a big international reputation for his outstanding artistic endeavour, I’m thrilled that Woking has become a leading global home for this group of stunning works so expertly curated by Sean.
“These inspirational and thought-provoking works represent our commitment to ensure that high quality public art continues to add to the vibrancy and attractiveness of Woking as a great place to live, work and play and underpin its growing appeal as a thriving, culturally active destination.”
“Cultural vitality and creativity are strengthened by investment in cultural assets which engage with residents and visitors alike. Sean’s outstanding artistic contribution to Woking will be welcomed by everyone and they will complement and add new value to our plans to further expand our success in this area.”
Art historian Tom Flynn said of Sean’s work: “Fusing the disciplines of ceramics with those of sculpture to create a fresh, innovative approach to representing the human figure, Henry’s painted figures have helped to revive the long tradition of polychrome sculpture.”
Henry’s first solo show was in London in 1988 and he has since gone on to exhibit his work widely in both solo and group exhibitions in the UK, USA, Sweden, Germany, Holland, Italy, Australia, Greece and Switzerland. His sculpture of Sir Tim Berners Lee was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery in 2015 and is now part of their permanent collection.
The website www.seanhenry.com includes many images of his works.