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Nigel Boonham FRSS


Nigel Boonham is a British portrait sculptor whose work dates back to 1975. He learnt traditional skills and was trained in the making of large-scale portraits as assistant for two years (1977-79) to the sculptor Oscar Nemon. While working on his first portrait Boonham was introduced to the work of the poet and artist, William Blake. Blake's free imagination and symbolic language have been an inspiration ever since and helped Boonham develop on the idea that sculpture, including portraiture, can have inner life and meaning.

Boonham's reputation has grown steadily. Over the past two decades he has made a series of distinguished portrait bronzes including Sir Geoffrey Keynes, Lord Runcie (Archbishop of Canterbury), Archbishop Daniel Mannix (Archbishop of Melbourne), Peter Jonas and Joseph Needham. Recently he completed an over life-size bronze of Dame Cicely Saunders OM, pioneer of the hospice movement: the first portrait of a woman in the collection of the Royal College of Physicians.

His best known portrait, of Diana, Princess of Wales was unveiled by the Princess herself at the National Hospital of Neurology, London. Boonham's three-metre statue of Cardinal Basil Hume set in a memorial garden designed by the sculptor was unveiled in May 2002 in Newcastle by Her Majesty The Queen. Boonham's work is held in many private and public collections including The Royal College of Surgeons; the Royal College of Physicians; Manchester Free Trade Hall, The International Courts of Justice and two portrait bronzes in The National Portrait Gallery.


BORN 1953


  • Studied under John Ravera PPRBS, Woolwich Adult Education Institute 1973-1977 

  • Assistant to the sculptor Oscar Nemon 1977-1979

  • Life drawing course, Goldsmiths Art College, London 1976-1977

STUDIO, London, United Kingdom


  • National Portrait Gallery

  • Royal College of Surgeons

  • Royal College of Physicians

  • Manchester Free Trade Hall

  • International Courts of Justice

  • Institute of Mechanical Engineers




  • Sir Geoffrey Keynes 1976

  • Sir Cyril Clarke 1977

  • Monument to John Hunter, Lincoln Inn Fields, London 1979

  • Sir Neville Cardus 1980

  • Lord Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth Palace 1981

  • John McEnroe 1981

  • Donnington Castle relief, Newbury Building Society 1982

  • Lord Hinton of Bankside 1983

  • Dr Joseph Needham, Needham Research Institute, Cambridge 1985

  • Sir Humphrey Waldock 1986

  • The Eternal Gate, Margate, Kent 1987

  • Diana, Princess of Wales, The National Hospital for Neurology, London 1991

  • The Lion Rider, TSB Bank plc 1992

  • Reg Grundy OBE 1992

  • Peter Jonas 1993

  • The Messengers relief, Cable and Wireless plc, London 1993

  • Lord Tombs of Brailles 1996

  • The Running Horse relief, Thames Vale Homes, Berkshire 1997

  • Archbishop Daniel Mannix Monument, St Patrick, Cathedral, Melbourne, Australia 1997-8

  • Boadicea, MV Boadicea 1999, Crucifix, Melbourne 2000

  • Joy Chambers-Grundy 2000

  • Donald Freakley 2002

  • Cardinal Basil Hume statue and Memorial Garden, Newcastle 2002, unveiled by The Queen

  • Dame Cicely Saunders OM, St Christopher, Hospice, London 2001

  • The Storrier Goddess, 7ft bronze, Bathurst NSW 2003

  • Terry McMaddy, 2004

  • Hippolyta, 6ft bronze, Lorgues, France 2004


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