It’s not often one gets to have a chat with an incredibly talented sculptor, but that’s just what happened when I attended Masterpiece London last month. It was impossible not to feel immediately drawn in to Sladmore Gallery‘s beautiful layout – done in such a clever way that it really did feel like you were walking into an artist’s studio. Luckily enough, the grand artist himself happened to be there too.
How many of you would be able to name the artist responsible for the iconic horse sculpture in Marble Arch? Oh I’ll be honest with you – I had no idea who it was up until my visit to Sladmore Gallery’s stand at Masterpiece London and my brief encounter with Nic Fiddian Green – that’s the artist’s name, FYI.
It took me a few minutes to make the connection – in fact I sheepishly had to ask Mr. Fiddian Green “Did you do that horse in Marble Arch?” Thankfully this did not turn into an arts version of The Devil Wears Prada – he happily replied that yes, that was his and I think he even called me a clever girl (without an ounce of pretence or sarcasm!). The reason why I felt like I could ask him this in the first place was because he seemed very approachable – he was saying hello to everyone and when he saw me he said he liked my dolphins. If a man complements my outfit he will instantly win me over!
It was this kindness and wit that made me want to get to know him a little better and not just as Marble Arch Horse man. I asked him if he’d been to art school, to which he replied yes and added straight away that he hadn’t like it. Back then, he was already passionate about horses’ heads as a subject – his teachers did not approve. As someone who has an art degree, I can fully relate to this – constructive criticism aside, hearing teachers say what you should and shouldn’t do can be incredibly frustrating, especially when it comes to something as subjective as art. But this story has a happy ending – Fiddian Green ignored his teachers’ advice and pursued his passion. The rest is history.
I’ll never look at that gigantic horse’s head in Marble Arch the same way again – it’s a reminder of a man who had not only lots of talent, but also a strong passion that he never gave up on and has devoted his life to.
I only spoke to Mr. Fiddian Green for a few minutes but it was enough to be completely in awe of him and feel ridiculously inspired. Probably aware of my admiration, he kindly gave me this beautiful book with amazing photographs of some of his most interesting (and iconic) pieces.
I couldn’t help but feel a little starstruck and like a young teenage fan had to ask him to sign the book for me. This is my best memory from Masterpiece London – my brief, yet fascinating, encounter with Nic Fiddian Green.