Sister’s warm tribute to noted Hitchin sculptor Alan
PUBLISHED: 13:58 08 January 2016 | UPDATED: 13:58 08 January 2016
The sister of an internationally-acclaimed sculptor from Hitchin has paid tribute to her late brother, who has died in New York.
Alan Brazier had his work feature at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s South Bank before moving to the USA and going on to have his work showcased in collections worldwide.
Alan, was 59, who was born in North Herts Maternity Hospital in Hitchin in 1956, lived on Benslow Lane, and was a pupil at the former Bessemer School in the town in the late 1960s.
He went on to study at Arts University College, Bournemouth and Weymouth College under a master stonemason called John Selman.
His sister Sandie Smith said: “Alan was a lovely man whose childhood in Hitchin shaped his adult life.
“He once ran away from our home in Benslow Lane when he was 13.
“He bought a tent and camped rough for about a week before the police found him on the south coast – he was actually subject to a national police manhunt, which was around November 1969.
“He loved what he did and I will miss my brother.”
Ben Gilbert, a friend of the late artist, added: “Alan always said that Hitchin gave him more than enough passion and life experience to fuel his sculpture. It defined him.”
When Alan lived in London in the mid 1980s he produced expressive works or sculptor and made his debut in the 1985 group exhibition Humanism in British Art at the Royal Festival Hall.
After movint to New York his work developed a greater sophistication, subtlety and fresh impetus from his new cultural environment.
Alan was a figurative sculptor working principally in stone, marble and bronze, who used bodily forms to express themes of human nature.
Speaking about his work he said: “The challenge is to capture the inner expressions of the human form and find the sculptural vocabulary that can reveal inner qualities, while at the same time remain true to the external forms.
“A defining aspect is my passionate relationship with stone.
“Take marble – after all the hard work of roughing out, chiseling, and the refining down to the final polishing I am always amazed by its stunning beauty.”
One sculpture, titled Squatting, was prompted by a homeless man he lived on the A-train subway on Manhattan’s 125th Street. “I must have seen him for ten years,” he recalled.