Alan Jack - Metal Sculptor

19 September 1940 - 29 September 2006

11 Old Cheltenham Road,

Longlevens, Gloucester, GL2 0AS England

Alan has been making things since he was a child. Born in the Midlands in 1940, he grew up fascinated by the mechanics of machinery, his mind forever enquiring into how things were assembled and how they worked. Although Alan had no formal art training, he developed his metal-handling skills through a tool-making apprenticeship followed by service as an airframe fitter in the Royal Air Force.

A profound admiration for the craftsmanship of the early blacksmiths has encouraged Alan to study and collect a wide range of old tools and metal devices. Farm machinery, car and motorcycle parts, household utensils, frequently gathered when repairing and renovating equipment, all play a part in his sculptures.

But it is his deep love of nature, and especially of birds and insects, which manifests itself most strongly in Alan's original sculptures. A keen conservationist, he has created forms which depict all aspects of wildlife. His fertile imagination has brought to life a variety of creatures constructed from found metal objects demonstrating both his love of his subject and of his media.

Alan's work has been on permanent display both in the galleries and in the gardens at Nature in Art, the International Centre for Wildlife Art at Wallsworth Hall in Gloucester, since 1988 and has featured several times on local television and radio and in the local and national press.

Many examples of his sculptures are in private collections throughout the country and he has been invited to participate in 'A Millenium Bestiary' by the Faculty of Art, Media and Design at the University of the West of England. His work is also featured in a recent publication called 'Into the New Iron Age: Modern British Blacksmiths' by Amina Chatwin.

Alan's exhibitions have always given a great deal of enjoyment to those observing his work. Over the years, he has developed a reputation for sculptures of great originality, ingenuity, imagination and creativity, together with a lively sense of humor.


Jemima picture
Jemima Puddleduck:

This sculpture, which stands about 1.2m tall and covers about 1 square metre was created several years ago. Many of the items used in the sculpture came from a local farm - it consists of several farm wheels, the feeding bowl from a cattle manger, some scaffold tubing, parts of a car, plough and some old iron beds.

A wide smile and cheery disposition makes this metal sculpture a favourite with children; hence it was been nicknamed Jemima Puddleduck after the children's storybook character.

CORMOR picture

Cormorant:

Alan has always had a love of nature, particularly birds, and this is reflected in the sculptures he creates. Many hours spent overlooking Chichester harbour watching the cormorants preening themselves as they rest on the bobbing boats gave him the inspiration to produce this elegant sculpture.

The cormorant, about 1.5m tall, is formed mainly from a motorcycle exhaust pipe with other items from old farm equipment. It stands on the gearing from an old wellhouse where, in olden times, the water was pumped up to Wallsworth Hall, near Gloucester, the home of Nature in Art, the Centre for International Wildlife Art, where the sculpture now rests.

EAGLE picture

Golden Eagle:

This was one of the first sculptures that Alan made, this time formed from recycled sheet metal. Overall, it measures about 0.7m in all directions. The lord of the skies soars over the garden as it comes in to land, its sharp eyes fixed onto its next meal, its lifelike talons reaching out to take a hold on its prey.

HARE picture

Hare:

Alan has always loved to watch the hare, especially during March when the male hares fight, standing on their hind legs demonstrating superb balance. The hare sculpture stands a full 3m tall. Its face and body are formed from the fuel tanks of a motorcycle, its ears and legs from exhaust pipes.

TOUCAN picture

The Hornbill:

This is made from a collection of motorcycle parts, a small wheel, sections from a fence, parts from a plough and old horseshoes. The parts Alan uses reflect various aspects of his life: his love of nature and the countryside, old farms and barns, motorcycles, cars, his ability to repair almost anything, his admiration for the old smiths and their craft and his enthusiasm for any mechanical artefact!