Wendy Taylor CBE
Wendy Taylor was born in Lincolnshire in 1945 and studied at St Martins School of Art in London between 1961 and 1967. She now lives and works in London. She is best known for her public sculpture commissions and has been credited as being one of the first artists of her generation to take art out onto the streets. She has created over 70 public sculptures and several of them, including ‘Timepiece’ at Tower Bridge and ‘Octo’ in Milton Keynes are Grade II, listed.
Many of Taylor’s sculptures take the form of abstract shapes, which often seem to somehow defy gravity. She uses a variety of materials in her work, from stainless steel to bronze to bricks and mortar. Many of the works are site-specific and interact with the location in which they stand. For example, the ‘Timepiece’ which is erected on the banks of the River Thames in London is made from chains, washers and nails, such as those which might be found in a dockyard.
As a Fellow of the Royal Zoological Society, the artist takes a keen interest in the animal world and some of her sculptures are highly detailed, anatomically correct animals. ‘Three Dung Beetles’ (2000) depicts three insects blown up to monstrous size. A variation on this work at London Zoo contains two beetles, one of which is on a ball made of twigs. At New Hall Art Collection, the beetles stand at the bottom of a stairwell leading off from the central Dome. They face each other as though conspiring and hatching evil plots.