Artist Profile - Caro Sweet ARBS
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Caro Sweet was born in Aylesbury in the United Kingdom in 1960. She grew up surrounded by the fields and woodlands of rural Buckinghamshire that provided her with a deep and enduring connection to nature. It is this sense of ethereal beauty and majesty that has become the hallmark of her work. Caro, a lifelong artist with a strong background in printmaking and drawing, received a classical training at The Frink School of Figurative Sculpture. While studying she was awarded a studentship bursary by The Elmley Foundation as well as a commission for the bronze 'Emerging Woman' for St. Michael's Hospice in Herefordshire. Always pushing the boundaries of her knowledge, Caro discovered her love for creating sculpture in bronze and cast iron while working collaboratively with fine art foundries and museums in the UK and USA. Here she explored innovative moulding and casting techniques and developed her trademark velvety black patina for her cast iron sculptures. Notable commissions in cast iron include 'Worship' for Ironbridge Open Air Museum of Steel Sculpture and 'Indiana Visionary' for Sculpture Trails Outdoor Museum, Indiana, USA. Caro regularly undertakes private commissions in bronze. Now living high in the Malvern Hills, Caro creates her art at her Worcestershire studio and in the USA, holding an annual Open Studio exhibition to showcase the year's work. Caro was elected an Associate Member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors in March 2012
My sculpture is fundamentally about life. I am inspired by nature, belief and belonging and a sense of the ethereal in our natural world. Being constantly curious about life, I feel like a scout adventuring beyond the far reaches known territory, returning to communicate my discoveries and experiences through the language of form and light, movement and texture. These explorations, translated into sketches, large dynamic charcoal drawings or colourful prints, are often finished works in themselves. The ultimate aim though is always to bring them fully into form as a sculpture cast in iron or bronze. Once committed to 3 dimensions I like the structure and texture of my chosen primary material to be evident in the final piece, whether it starts its life in clay, plaster, polystyrene or other materials I may choose. Although I employ a diversity of materials in the making of my sculpture, my focus and methodology is always the same: to strip away all unnecessary diversions and refine the form to fully reveal its essence or 'soul'. Whether modelling with nuggets of clay to capture light and shadow and the history of a sculpture’s creation, or carving detail directly into a sand mould before casting in iron, I always aim for rhythm, harmony and a timeless quality in the final piece. Exhibitions: 2011 'Iron Works' at Dudmaston Estate, ShropshireShowborough House Garden Sculpture Exhibition, GloucestershireStudio Exhibition for Herefordshire Art Week, Bransford, Worcestershire2010 Showborough House Garden Sculpture Exhibition, Gloucestershire'Iron Works' at Dudmaston Estate, ShropshireWorcester Open ExhibitionStudio Exhibition for Herefordshire Art Week, Bransford, WorcestershireHerefordshire Open Exhibition, Hereford Museum & Art Gallery2009 Mixed Show, Limehouse Gallery, LondonShowborough House Garden Sculpture Exhibition, GloucestershireSculpture Trails Outdoor Museum, Solsberry, Indiana, USAStudio Exhibition, Bransford, Worcestershire'Iron Works, Ironbridge International Cast Iron Art Exhibition, Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron2008 Art Exhibition, Llangollen Show, North WalesSummer Show, Sheridan Russell Gallery, LondonStudio Exhibition, Bransford, WorcestershireGroup Figurative Show, Limehouse Gallery, LondonSculpture in the Garden V, Hergest Croft, Kington, HerefordshireBirmingham Art Fair, Birmingham Museums & Art GalleryGroup Christmas Show, Limehouse Gallery, London2007 Birmingham Open Art Show, Birmingham Museums & Art GalleryStudio Exhibition, Bransford, WorcestershireSolo Exhibition, Robson Ward, Autumn in Malvern Festival2006 Studio Exhibition, Bransford, WorcestershireSculpture in the Garden IV, Hergest Croft, Kington, Herefordshire2005 Studio Exhibition, Bransford, WorcestershireSolo Exhibition, The Gallery at Droitwich, Worcestershire Read the article about this exhibition on the BBC website.2004 The Swell Gallery, Upper Swell, Cotswolds2003 The Orangery, Holland Park, LondonMalvern Open Exhibition2002 Malvern Sculpture Park2000 First Sight Fine Art Gallery, BristolSui Generis Gallery, CheltenhamMalvern Visual Arts FestivalThe Warstone Gallery, Birmingham Commissions: 2011 Site specific bronze for private collection in Worcestershire2011 Falls Angel for Sculpture Trails in Solsberry, Indiana, USA2009/10 Site specific bronze for private collection in Herefordshire2009 Worship for Ironbridge International Cast Iron Art Exhibition2009 Indiana Visionary for Sculpture Trails in Solsberry, Indiana, USA2008/9 Private commission for a memorial garden in Worcestershire2008 Record the creation of a portrait sculpture of an ITN News Anchorman for two programmes aired on prime time UK television2007 Figurative sculpture for private collection in Sussex2003 Emerging Woman, bronze, for St Michael’s Hospice, Herefordshire2000 Figurative sculpture for private collection in Worcestershire1999 Millennium sculpture for The Savoy Group, London Teaching Assignments: 2009-11 Guest Lecturer, De Montfort University, Leicester2008 Direct build sculpture, studio workshop2003-07 Private tuition, mould making and casting1996-7 Art for personal development, Malvern Hills College of Art1988-90 Stencil design and specialist paint effects workshops, Suffolk Education/Artist Training: 2009 International Conference on Cast Iron Art, Birmingham, Alabama, USA2008 Casting and wax working with Bronze Age Foundry in London2007-9 Traditional moulding methods and iron pouring to create cast iron art at the Museum of Steel Sculpture, Ironbridge2007 Advanced figurative sculpture studies with Guy Woodford2005 Large silicone rubber mould making with Castle Fine Arts Foundry, North Wales2001-3 The Frink School of Figurative Sculpture, Staffordshire1997-03 Life Drawing and Figurative Sculpture at Malvern Hills College of Art in Worcestershire1994 Etching and Lithography with Professor Chris Orr MBE RA at Gainsborough’s House Printworks, Suffolk1988-95 Exhibition design and bespoke and conservation framing at the John Russell Gallery, Ipswich1987 Stencil Design with Lyn Le Grice in Cheltenham Bibliography: The Story of Indiana VisionaryHow to create and install an 8½ feet high, ½ ton, cast iron sculpture in just 3 weeks Grants and Awards: 2009-10 The Fold Partnership Additional Studio Facilities2009 Arts Council England Art Project Grant2009 Worcestershire County Council Inroads Grant (first individual artist to receive this grant)2009 The Elmley Foundation Project Support Grant2009 Malvern Hills District Council Educational Arts Tour Grant2009 University of Kentucky, Technical Support Grant2009 Sculpture Trails Outdoor Museum, Indiana Installation Grant2009 Tuska Fine Arts, Kentucky, Studio Facilities Grant2009 Sloss Furnaces, Alabama International Conference on Cast IronArt, Large Mould Support2009 The Performance Improvement Project Ltd Project Support Grant2009 Gold Stamp Publishing Ltd, Media Support Grant2008-9 Bronze Age Fine Art Foundry, London Bronze Casting Sponsorship2003-9 Creative Spaces Website Facilities and Event Media2003-8 The Performance Improvement Project Ltd Annual Studio Sponsorship Grant2002 The Elmley Foundation Studentship Bursary