Karen Newman ARBS

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Karen Newman ARBS

Karen, an Associate member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors and The Society of Portrait Sculptors, has been a sculptor from her early teens to the present day.

‘’I try to bring a complexity to my portraiture which can reveal multiple elements of personality. Whilst likeness is of course the ultimate aim, both vitality and an emotional charge is of paramount importance. I am continually bringing into balance content and considering line, form, structure and technique. Having some understanding of anatomy and a reading of micro expressions, is also vital.

During the making of the portrait bust of Noor Inayat Khan, for Gordon Square, Central London, this brave and gentle SOE Agent, I became aware, whilst increasing the prominence of one tiny part of her forehead, of a conscientiousness in her, which suddenly became apparent. This unsurprising characteristic, which I hadn’t necessarily been conscious of controlling, shows that bone structure speaks about inner life too.

I have spent more recent years engaged in sculpting memorial portrait bronze busts of several World War II Heroines for public spaces in Central London. Violette Szabo for the SOE Agents’ Monument, the Noor Inayat Khan and a maquette of the most decorated and fierce Resistance Fighter, New Zealand born, Nancy Wake, her medals too numerous to list here. All three SOE Agents were awarded the George Cross.

In 2010 I was asked to make a Bicentenary Commemorative plaque for Vincent Square, Westminster. This was a half relief portrait of the Dean of Westminster Abbey, William Vincent. My only reference a portrait painting and an etching, both by William Owen. My brief was to express his true and difficult nature, from his earlier time as Headmaster of Westminster School, London”.

For 21 years (until 2001) she worked as a Freelance Sculptor for the famous wax Museum, Madame Tussauds, at their studios in London. Her many illustrious subjects, from Royal families, Heads of State and the political World, film stars, artists and rock stars. Karen says that to be in a position to make portrait figures of so many individuals at the top of their field, was exceptionally interesting for a portrait sculptor.

In her latter years at Madame Tussauds and since that time, she has been engaged in commissioned portraits for private homes as well, from sittings and photo reference.

Karen’s current project is for a major museum, who will be acquiring one of her works, which can be seen in the Autumn of 2017

Works illustrated.

  1. Noor Inayat Khan in Gordon Square. London.
  2. Violette Szabo for the SOE Agents Monument. The Albert Embankment, London
  3. Dean William Vincent Terracotta (detail) for Vincent Square Westminster. London
  4. Samir Eid. (A private commission for his family)
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