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Simon & Tom Bloor's 'Design for Pleasure' in the Pump Room Gardens, Leamington Spa

Date uploaded: December 19, 2012

Landscape to Sculpture: John Bridgeman (1916-2004) and Design for Pleasure

An exhibition of the work of the sculptor John Bridgeman will open at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum on 25th January 2013. John Bridgeman ARCA, FRBS, FRBSA, lived in the area for over 40 years and was Head of Sculpture at Birmingham School of Art from 1955 to 1981.

The exhibition runs from 25th January until 21st April and will be the first retrospective of his diverse practice and will include sculptures, drawings, maquettes and paintings.

For the first time, an exhibition at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum will be complemented by a public artwork. Simon & Tom Bloor have been invited to make a work for the Pump Rooms Gardens. Design for Pleasure is inspired by John Bridgeman’s large scale 'play sculptures' commissioned by Oldbury Borough Council and Birmingham City Council and installed in playgrounds through the West in the 1960s. The Bloor’s new work is a functional sculpture that offers the generation who first enjoyed Bridgeman's 'play sculptures' a place to stop, sit and talk with each other, their children and their grandchildren.

Whilst John Bridgeman was a post-graduate student at the RCA in 1950, Henry Moore saw his work and invited him to become his studio assistant. Bridgeman rejected the offer and pursued an independent career. One of Bridgeman's sculptures featured in the Festival of Britain exhibtion. A drawing for this sculpture has survived, and Bridgeman produced works which remain in situ across the West Midlands.

This exhibition will include examples of Bridgeman’s late works alongside designs and maquettes for his final commission, the Unknown Refugee, a sculpture commemorating all those made homeless by war.

Click here for further information.