Martin Jennings FRSS
Martin trained as a lettering designer and stone carver and in mid-1980's he branched out into sculpture and set up his workshop in Oxford. An early portrait of Jeremy Lever QC for All Souls College in 1990 encouraged the trustees of the Oxford Union to commission a green bronze bust of Sir Edward Heath which now stands among other ex-premiers in the debating chamber. Further casts were subsequently bought by the sitter himself and by the Houses of Parliament.
Over the following decade commissions continued to come in for portraits of Oxford University figures : Sir David Cox, Warden of Nuffield College; Clifford Barclay for Templeton College; Sir Roger Bannister, Master of Pembroke College; a 3m-high stone monument to Lord Nuffield carved in bas-relief for the Oxford Crown Courts. And further afield, portraits of Lord Tombs, Chairman of Rolls Royce, Berrick Saul, Vice-Chancellor of York University and Daniel Tosteson, Dean of Harvard Medical School.
In 1998 committee members from St.Paul's Cathedral visited Oxford, viewed the portraits of Heath and Cox and commissioned Martin to make the portrait bust of HM Queen Mother that would stand as their last tribute, on her 100th birthday, to the Patron of the society of Friends. Martin likes to spend as much time as possible working in the presence of his sitter, not only to get a good likeness but because he believes that 'life' is also transferred to the work by gaining a sense of the sitter's personality.
Increasingly his background in stone carving is coming to the fore, so that portraits are often built up in hard plaster and carved back, though many have also been modelled in clay in more traditional manner.
MA Hons. Oxford University 1979
Sculpture course at Sir John Cass
School of Arts, London 1983-1984
Oxford, United Kingdom
Bronze, Stone, Plaster, Terracotta
Houses of Parliament
Hampton Court Palace
COMMISSIONS & AWARDS/PRIZES
Freakley Prize for portrait sculpture 2003