James Matthews comes from a family with a rich sculptural heritage having grown up in an environment of traditional figurative art.
His grandfather John F. Matthews was a prominent sculptor in the 1950’s and exhibited 3 life-size figure sculptures at the 1951 Festival of Britain alongside work by Dobson, Epstein, Moore and other renowned sculptors of the time. James’s father Nicholas is also a figurative sculptor who runs his own gallery in France.
James studied under the tutelage of sculptor Allan Sly at Wimbledon School of Art, where he developed his passion for figure and portrait sculpture. He hopes his work will promote the joy of owning portrait sculpture and will contribute to preserving this ancient and diminishing art form. James uses the traditional techniques of modelling the subject in clay from life sittings and images, then casting in bronze using the lost wax process.
Portrait sculpture has an incredible presence; the sculpted bust captures life and character in a manner unparalleled by painting or photography. The subtle change of light throughout the day animates the features; they are never static and always alive. Over time his sculpted portraits will become unique and treasured family heirlooms. He has portraits sculpted by his grandfather of his great grandfather, his mother and of himself as a boy; they are the three most precious objects he owns.
James’s notable sitters have included Gyles Brandreth, Ardal O’Hanlon, Nicholas Parsons, Mark Gatiss, Martin Jarvis and Simon Callow.