Acclaimed Sculptor and Sundial-maker David Harber Celebrates 20th Anniversary
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Award-winning British designer David Harber will be showcasing four new works – including a secret design to mark his 20th anniversary working as a sundialist and sculptor, which will be unveiled on press day – at the 2012 RHS Show, Chelsea.
Join us for celebratory Champagne and canapés at the David Harber stand (MA4) on press day, Monday, 21 May, from 11am, during which David will unveil plans for a special piece to be created to mark his 20th anniversary year.
Other new works for 2012, which will all be shown to the public for the first time at the Flower Show, will include The Quill, a soaring work whose shape takes inspiration from the Skylon structure from the 1951 Festival of Britain, and whose surface can be etched with lines of poetry or mottoes; the artist’s first indoor sculptural piece, an elliptical piece with a central beehive-like design - perfect for a console table, desktop, or alcove; and The Crucello, a contemporary variation of the classical three-tiered fountain with which incorporates David’s trademark love of optical illusion. The new works make use of different metals and materials, from oxidised stainless steel to copper verdigris to gold leaf (see end of release for images and further details)
2012 will be the 18th time David has exhibited at the Chelsea Flower Show. Last year saw his team awarded the Sundries Trophy for the fifth time, having won it previously in 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2009. 2011 also saw his ‘Mantle’ design – unveiled at the Show – nominated for a new RHS accolade, the Product of the Year Award.
Since selling his first work – a design based on the 2,000 year-old armillary sphere sundial – to actor Jeremy Irons, David has gone on to become one of only a handful of in-demand sundial makers in the UK and a respected outdoor sculptor with an international following. Highlights of a 20-year career include the first public drinking fountain in Hyde Park to be commissioned in 30 years, a ten-metre tower for the entrance to the Millennium Dome, which incorporated five dials from different millennia and cultures, five works for a new development at Heathrow’s new Terminal 5, a specially-commissioned sundial for the Queen Mother at Walmer Castle and six bespoke pieces – including a unique Moon Dial - at Oxford University colleges.
His international work includes projects as far afield as Dubai, America and Singapore – and high profile private clients have included Dame Judi Dench, George Michael and the late George Harrison.
Before discovering a love of ancient sundials, David worked as a potter, thatcher and professional mountaineer. For 8 years he sailed the waterways of Europe in a Dutch barge converted into a travelling theatre, winning an accolade from President Mitterand in the process. His first encounter with a sundial was when a friend brought an Armillary Sphere back from a holiday in France; transfixed by the design David spent his last £20 on the materials needed to make the piece. By lucky coincidence actor Jeremy Irons happened to be passing the doorway of his cottage as he was making the work, and bought the dial on the spot for the equivalent of two months’ rent.
Today David works with a team of craftsmen out of his Oxfordshire studio, creating a variety of bespoke works on a human or monumental scale for indoor environments as well as outdoor landscapes. When not pursuing another passion – aviation – he is to be found at the family’s renovated lemon farm in Sicily.
David Harber at Eaton Square – official anniversary celebrations
The show will also be on public view the previous Sunday (10 June) as part of Open Garden Squares Weekend (www.opensquares.org).
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Susannah Glynn: 020 7221 7883 / firstname.lastname@example.org
New works to be shown at Chelsea 2012
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