Jon Edgar
2009 Jon Edgar profile image credit Ann Purkiss

My approach to teaching is rigorous, energetic, but fun. Teaching creates the possibility for individuals to discover things for themselves, through the introduction of core disciplines and supporting technique. Individuals are encouraged to be self-critical and to trust in their own responses, airing and discussing these within an atmosphere where everybody can contribute as well as learn. I encourage flexible evening sessions, largely participant-led with tutor’s projected digital image library. This allows debate which supports and bolsters studio activities.

What will students gain if they come on one of your courses?

A better understanding of sculptural form and mass and a better appreciation of using the eyes; hopefully some contribution towards seeking warmth and sensitivity in your developing sculpture. And a network of like-minded people to give peer-support after the course finishes. Whilst figurative work is becoming fashionable again within painting and drawing, figurative sculptural training all but disappeared from formal art school curricula and much sculpture still relies on the conceptual (you need to “get it”) rather than the visual, where it needs to move you.

Are there any particular techniques/processes you use in your teaching?

Rigorous observation, honest and sensitive handling of materials. Encouragement to develop confidence to trust one's own perception.

What inspires your own work?

People; the natural and physical world. The unforeseen, in my carvings: essentially, gradually finding out more about oneself through the use of improvisation and not planning the outcome of the work.

Where can students see examples of your work?

A visual archive of works is available to view on the artist's website, where there is also a short film on carving practice.

Where did you gain your training? Experience?

BSc. Biology and Geography (Exeter)
MSc. Landscape Design (London)
AFS. Associate of The Frink School of Figurative Sculpture The Discerning Eye UK Sculpture Bursary 2001 Sculpture gradually emerged as a rather more pure evocation for channelling one's creativity. In 2013 a solo touring show of heads was exhibited at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, with an accompanying publication.

What teaching experience have you had?

Teaching must remain a supporting function to ones own practice to keep it fresh and relevant.
Wide variety of teaching experience with those from 5 to 85 with both amateurs and professionals wishing to challenge their practice. Contribution to Degree/Masters Sculpture courses at UCA and University of Sussex. Arts Council-funded outreach projects.

Is your work in any public or private collections?

Portraits in public collection in UK (Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge) and abroad (Museum of South Georgia). Charles Saumarez Smith, Sir Roy Strong, Richard Mabey and Caroline Lucas MP have been recent sitters.
Large public carvings in LEWES (Southover Grange Gardens), HINDHEAD (Devil's Punch Bowl), PULBOROUGH (RSPB Pulborough Brooks) and GUILDFORD (University of Surrey).

Have you written any books/had any articles published?

Responses: Carvings and Claywork (2008) Jon Edgar Sculpture 2003-2008. Authors, Various. Hesworth Press ISBN-13 978-0-9558675-0-7 Jon Edgar - Sculpture Series Heads (2013) Hall, Pheby & Scott (2013) ISBN 0955867517 Both available at West Dean Shop, Yorkshire Sculpture Park or via Amazon