Annual Lecture 

Martin's Orwell statue

The Society’s Talks 2020

Sculpture and Survival: The Many Faces of George Fullard

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‘The lights were turned on,’ is how the sculptor Phyllida Barlow recalls her first, electric encounter with George Fullard at Chelsea School of Art. ‘Vivid, demanding, abrasive, contentious, funny,’ Fullard was a maverick mentor and highly original thinker about sculpture. ‘I make from what there is,’ he wrote – the human face and form, the materiality of clay and plaster, of doors and dustbins harvested from bomb- sites. In this online talk, Michael Bird explores the relationship between portraiture, autobiography and enactment in Fullard’s sculpture.

Michael Bird is a writer, art historian and author of George Fullard: Sculpture and Survival (Pangolin/Lund Humphries, 2016). His other books include Studio Voices: Art and Life in 20th-century Britain, The St Ives Artists: A Biography of Place and Time 100 Ideas that Changed Art and monographs on Lynn Chadwick and Sandra Blow. His bestselling history of art for children, Vincent’s Starry Night and Other Stories, has been translated into twenty languages. In 2016 he was Goodison Fellow at the British Library and is currently Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Exeter. His next book, This

Is Tomorrow: An Artists’ History of 20th-century Britain, is due out in 2022.

Pictured: George Orwell statue, BBC Broadcasting House, London 2017 by Martin Jennings