Barbara Hepworth, Dyslexia and Dynamic Abstract Sculpture with Hugh Chapman

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Today, Lucy Branch, talks to Hugh Chapman, on The Sculpture Vulture Podcast. His abstract, dynamic sculpture plays with light and form and elicits profound reactions from his audience. Hugh's work is part of the magnificent sculpture collection at Canary Wharf, London, and is enjoyed by many thousands of visitors each year. Today we discuss his inspiration, creative life and journey as a professional sculptor. Join us and BE INSPIRED BY SCULPTURE. You can find images of Hugh Chapman work and a transcription of the interview at If you are looking for a new book, the novel mentioned in this interview is currently available free from Sculpture Vulture. This podcast was brought to you by Antique Bronze Snippet from the interview: Lucy: I began our discussion today with asking my favourite question, which is if he'd always been creative. Hugh: Yes, I have been ever since I was a boy. I always was very interested in painting, drawing, and making models, and that sort of thing. I was very fortunate in the sense that my parents always encouraged creative activities as much as academic ones, which gave me a great breadth of experience. Lucy: What did your parents do? Hugh: My mum is a retired specialist in pediatric dentistry, and she's currently a visiting fellow in School of Psychology at the University of Lincoln. And she does a lot of research into dental phobia and occupational stress to do with the treatment of patients on behalf of the dentists, and that sort of thing. So, it's a pretty... Lucy: Interesting. Hugh: ...pretty interesting career for her. And my father, he's just retired. He was a research and development software engineer in the world of heating and control systems, which is a bit more exciting and varied than it might sound. I mean, Mum's quite creative at sewing and that sort of thing, which she was taught by her mum. And my dad has painted watercolours and that sort of thing for a lot of his life, and he was designing mobile aircraft as a boy and a young teenager. And we, in fact, still, to this day, fly them together. Lucy: Sounds cool. Hugh: Yeah, yeah. It's good until you crash them. But it's a useful skill as a young boy to learn that when you do crash your model, it is possible to put it back together again. But, no, they were very good. And, in fact, they sacrificed a great deal for me, because, well, I am severely dyslexic, and at school, I was was resigned to the fact that I was thick. And they remortgaged the house to send me to private school, where education in the arts and creative subjects was actually more prevalent anyway. So, I was very fortunate to go to schools where it was understood that academia wasn't everything, although I did struggle with the feeling know, my brother, he's very academic as well, and in my early life, I struggled with the feeling of I needed to do something academic. And I would have been much better off had I, at an earlier age, established that being a creative person was a good thing and equally as merited as being highly academic.

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