British Sculptor Sean Henry to Exhibit

Posted: February 22, 2024 / News

Sean Henry, ‘Seated Man’ (2011) Bronze, corten steel & paint


There is much anticipation around seeing the famed sculpture, ‘Seated Man’ by Sean Henry, one of England’s most celebrated international artists who will be exhibiting in WA for the first time as the Tourism WA Invited International Artist. We expect the people of Perth and its visitors to greatly enjoy the larger-than-life painted bronze figure seated, looking out to the glistening blue waters of Cottesloe Beach. The identity of the seated man will, according to the artist remain anonymous and the meaning of the work will be ambiguous, leaving imaginative space for the viewer to encounter the sculpture on their own terms.

Henry’s figures are modelled in clay, cast in bronze and then hand painted by the artist using a range of techniques. Each sculpture is like a three-dimensional painting, and the addition of colour makes it possible for him to infuse the works with personality and character.

Artist Sean Henry expressed, “Visual art has the power to communicate with us very directly. It is by nature non-verbal, and I like the way that meanings and motivations within the artwork exist very much in the mind of the viewer.

“Once the figures leave the studio, different people encounter the works in different ways, and that becomes a starting point for a variety of alternative narratives. Given time I like to think that the viewers stories will be as valid as mine.”

David Handley, Founding CEO & Artistic Director of Sculpture by the Sea, said, “It is tremendous to exhibit Sean Henry in the 20th annual Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe. He is a very high-profile international artist and his sculpture will be one the people of Perth and its visitors enjoy.”

Henry graduated in ceramics from Bristol Polytechnic in 1987 and has had more than 35 solo shows during his career. In 1998 he was the first sculptor to receive the Villiers David Prize, and his work is regularly exhibited by galleries in the UK, USA, Sweden, Norway, Belgium and Germany.

Sean Henry’s sculpture of Sir Tim Berners Lee, founder of the World Wide Web, can be seen in the newly reopened National Portrait Gallery in London, and versions of his 2016 ‘Seated Figure’ sculpture can be seen at both Yorkshire Sculpture Park, in the UK, and at The Hills in Arrowtown, New Zealand. Permanent public sculptures can also be seen in Oslo, Stockholm, Svolvaer, Bad Homburg, Colchester and Woking, and his ‘Untitled (Blue Jeans)’ sculpture from 2010 was recently acquired by the FRAC museum in France.

‘Seated Man’ can be experienced exclusively by visitors to the 20th anniversary exhibition of Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe in Perth from 1-18 March 2024.

Tourism WA has supported the Invited International Artist program since 2016, facilitating acclaimed international artists to exhibit major works on the shores of Cottesloe Beach for the enjoyment of Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe visitors.  Henry joins a list of prominent sculptors invited to exhibit in previous years as part of the program, including Sir Tony Cragg and Zadok Ben-David (England), Li Wei and Zhan Wang (China), Chris Booth and Phil Price (New Zealand) and Haruyuki Uchida and Takeshi Tanabe (Japan).

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