Harborough-area sculptor hopes her tale inspires struggling artists

Helen Lopez with her sculpture Eve
Helen Lopez with her sculpture Eve

A bronze sculptor from the Harborough area who won an award for one of her pieces is hoping her experience can inspire artists like herself who are just starting out.

Helen Lopez, who lives in Naseby, won the Welland Valley Art Society’s Spring Exhibition at the Stamford Arts Centre earlier this month for her bronze sculpture Eve.

Helen joined the Welland Valley Art Society as an associate member in May last year and successfully passed screening for exhibitor membership in March.

She entered three sculptures in Welland Valley Art Society’s Spring Exhibition on May 1, and all three were accepted for exhibition. Eve went on to win the WVAS Award, known as the Gladys Teesdale Award.

Helen said: “As a child I always found great joy in creating animals in 3D using natural objects found in the garden or by the sea.

“At the age of nine, after digging down two feet in my parents’ garden one day I discovered the freedom of clay.”

This eventually led to a qualification in sculpting at school and soon after, completion of a portrait-sculpting course.

Helen added: “I enjoyed the course so much that I convinced the owners to take me on and train as a technician at their foundry in Leicestershire. “It was during this time that I learned various highly-skilled techniques needed to take a sculpture from its original clay medium through to a finished polished bronze. I worked on sculptures by many prominent artists, such as Ralph Brown, Malcolm Woodward, Helaine Blumenfeld, Geraldine Knight, and Neale Andrew.”

During a year spent in Japan, Helen made headlines with a small portrait head in plaster and became the first foreign sculptor to have work exhibited at the Fukui Open Sculpture Exhibition in forty one years. After teaching Japanese, Spanish and English in the state and private sector for many years, she returned to her love of sculpture.

Inspired by artists such as Rodin, Camille Claudel and Ralph Brown, Helen’s work varies in size from half-life-size to life-size. The exhibition is on until May 14 at the Arts Centre in Stamford. Visit www.helenlopez-sculptures.co.uk for more.