Beside their unbelievable detail and hypnotising sense of movement, the attraction of Steve's sculptures lies in their fusion of the artist and artisan. This can be seen in his founding of Yorkshire Fine Arts where Steve, and the rest of his amazing family, call upon thousand-year-old techniques of bronze foundrymen to create and reproduce his spectacular sculptures. While most artists traditionally form their sculptures out of clay and then send them to a separate bronze foundry to be cast, Steve sees his sculptures from concept to completion by his own hand, all at his family-run foundry. From the initial sketch and armature, to the powerful bronze pour and adding of patina, every sculpture is meticulously produced under Steve’s singular eye. The result is a series of meticulous sculptures that are authentic to the artist's vision and dynamic representations of the long history of bronze.
The artist's vast success can be felt through the numerous national public installations that showcase his sculpture; from Wembley Stadium to Monkey World: Ape Rescue Centre; learn more about these below.
A spectacular sculpture that took three years to complete, Steve Winterburn's commission for Rugby League Cares was unveiled at Wembley Stadium in August 2015 for the 120th anniversary of the day that the sport was created. It features five stars of the sport who come together to celebrate each generation of rugby. In his commitment to authenticity, Steve worked closely with the families of Eric Ashton, Billy Boston, Martin Offiah, Alex Murphy and Gus Risman, inviting the living legends and surviving family members to see the wax in his studio. Steve recounts that it was a moving and emotional experience.
The medium of bronze transcends to accurately convey the looseness of the players' clothing and hair while the solidity of the trophy and their strength is also felt in the historic metal. You can go and see the sculpture today at Wembley where it will stand for many years as a testament to a legendary sport and some of its heroes.
Commemorating the historic town's important mining history, Steve Winterburn's sculpture installation at Wigan Town Hall conveys a range of mining figures donning traditional clothing and footwear. From the detail of the clogs and clog irons, to the absence of a plinth to allow the figures to walk amongst the town on the cobbled streets, Steve's immense attention to detail and moving authenticity to his subject matter is what distinguishes him as an artist.
“It is an honour to recognise the people who built this country and made it great with this historical piece. We decided with the committee not to have a base or plinth so that they are on the cobbles walking as a proud working-class family would have. We are proud of our English heritage and hope that our representation of this family captures something for everyone who sees it.” – Steve Winterburn
Steve Winterburn himself has over 10 years experience with animal conservation around the world. It is this experience and his unwavering dedication and passion for wildlife that sees his monumental animal sculptures come to life. It is unsurprising then that he was chosen to immortalise fellow wildlife hero Jim Cronin in bronze in 1987.
The Jim Cronin Memorial at Monkey World: Ape Rescue Centre in Dorset by Steve Winterburn continues to pay tribute to its founder. An uncanny portrait of Jim is juxtaposed by a moving and lifelike depiction of an ape in a composition not unlike the hands of God and Adam at the Sistine Chapel. A testament to Steve's master of his medium and dedication to art, Jim's wife Alison said in an interview with the BBC, “It is Jim, it’s his face, it’s his expression, it’s everything and such a fitting tribute.”
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