Simon Burns-Cox has been a professional Sculptor and Letter Carver since 1997
Simon Burns-Cox has been a professional Sculptor and Letter Carver since 1997 working mainly in Stone and Marble but also in other media. He is based at The Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop in Edinburgh, Scotland which is an International Centre for Sculptors.
Simon Burns-Cox was born in Sussex in 1962 and was educated at Clifton College Bristol and London University. He then trained as a Teacher but decided that school life was not for him so went into the business world eventually becoming Director of a Medical Advertising Agency in Gloucestershire, England.
It was at this point Simon’s life changed. Aged thirty-three, he was taken seriously ill with a brain haemorrhage which left him unable to speak for two years. During this bleak period, however, Simon discovered the art of Stone Carving which he found allowed him to express himself at this time and gave him much enjoyment.
When eventually Simon recovered after intensive speech therapy, he decided to train formally in Stone Carving in the UK and then went to Rome, Italy where he spent nearly four years learning the skills and techniques of Marble Sculpture and Carving from Italian craftsmen and artisans.
Upon his return to the UK, Simon worked at The Bath Artists Studios in Bath, England, for six years and then moved to Edinburgh, Scotland in 2010 where he is now based at The Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.
EXHIBITIONS AND GALLERIES
Simon Burns-Cox creates interior and exterior marble sculptures and sells his work and exhibits regularly in private galleries, public and solo exhibitions throughout the UK and overseas. His work can be seen in permanent exhibitions in Bath Abbey, Wells Cathedral, and St. John’s Church Edinburgh. Simon also had a three year exhibition from March 2016-19 at The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh and The Peoples Palace Museum, The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and The Riverside Museum, Glasgow, in aid of Poppy Scotland. The sculpture ‘FRANCE 1914’ by Simon Burns-Cox was made to commemorate the end of The First World War.
EXTERIOR GARDEN SCULPTURE COLLECTION
Simon Burns-Cox creates Exterior Garden Sculptures for all types of gardens and urban spaces. He also makes bespoke Gravestones, Memorials and Headstones and offers all types of Stone Letter Carving for home and business. He is a supplier of stone, marble and Italian stone carving tools at competitive prices.
COURSES IN SCULPTURE, STONE CARVING, LETTER CARVING AND RELIEF
Simon Burns-Cox also teaches and offers courses in Sculpture, Stone Carving, Stone Letter Carving and Relief Carving to groups and individuals throughout the year at The Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.
ARTIST STATEMENT BY SIMON BURNS-COX
I have been working in stone and marble for a long time. I particularly enjoy the discipline of lettering, and have an admiration for Eric Gill’s work, the acknowledged master of the craft.
I love working in marble because of its texture and the potential of its many veins and colours. Although many of my pieces are abstractions, they have their origins in natural forms. They are domestic in scale and personality, designed not to shock but to please. I want people to handle them, to look closely, and to be reminded of hidden things in the world around them.
For the Sculptor, it is the challenge of creating something out of an inanimate object that excites. There is a constant need to express oneself and use the stream of ideas to create. Marble is a tactile medium which can reveal secrets during the carving process. It is tender, beautiful and has a lovely relationship with light.
Who are my artistic influences ? If I was asked to name artists or creatives who have influenced my work or whose work excites or inspires me in someway, I would have to say Alberto Giacometti, Eric Gill and Ian Hamilton Finlay. I also admire the work of the famous Barbara Hepworth, and the contemporary sculptors, Emily Young, and Mel Fraser.
Alberto Giacometti was one of the most important 20th century sculptors whose work was influenced by the artistic styles of cubism and surrealism. He later moved onto figurative compositions with his tall and slender figurines which look impossibly delicate and fragile. I have tried to create this ‘thinness’ but because I work in marble, it is not easy to achieve this.
Eric Gill was a Sculptor and one of the most recognised letter carvers in the UK, and the acknowledged master of the craft. He was also a typeface designer and printmaker and associated with The Arts and Craft movement. He designed the Gill sans typeface based on the sans-serif lettering which was originally designed for The London Underground.
Gill trained at Chichester Art School and then became an architect. However, he became disillusioned and gave it all up to train as a stone mason eventually becoming a calligrapher, letter cutter and monumental mason.
I identify with this as there is a constant debate between what is Art and Craft ? Those who haven’t gone to art school are not considered artists by The Establishment but Mel Fraser, the contemporary sculptor is completely self taught and is well known for her work.
Ian Hamilton Finlay
Ian Hamilton Finlay was a Scottish poet, writer, artist and gardener who created the garden ‘Little Sparta’ near Edinburgh. The garden was designed to display his sculptures in a natural environment with his poems inscribed into the stones. His recurring themes were classical writers, the sea, fishing, The French Revolution, World War II and Latin phrases. I love the garden and his stone sculptures and letter carving.
He holds several professional memberships which include the following:
- Licentiate Member of The Society of Designer Craftsmen London
- Member of The Royal Glasgow Institute of The Fine Arts
- Member of The Society of Scottish Artists (SSA)
- Member of Visual Arts Scotland (VAS)
- Member of Creative Scotland
- Member of The Bath Society of Artists and Simon was on the selection panel for Sculpture
- Associate Member of The Letter Exchange
- Member of The Craft Council UK