The society, a charity created in 1904 for professional sculptors by sculptors, is the only one of its type in the country. It campaigns for greater awareness and enjoyment of sculpture and promotes excellence amongst its practitioners. Next year it stages a sculpture exhibition at Chelssea Harbour, with works by leading sculptors throughout the world.
It is especially committed to supporting young sculptors and to this end seeks over pounds 400,000 to build a new sculpture gallery at its headquarters, the former home of Cecil Thomas, president of the Art Workers Guild, established in 1888 as part of the arts and crafts movement. The gallery is intended to offer a public exhibition venue for recent graduates and visiting students from abroad. It will be used to host sculpture exhibitions, competitions, lectures and demonstrations. The society also wants to create a library and an archive for anyone wanting to know more about sculpture.
With its 250 professional members - including Elisabeth Frink, Ralph Brown, Michael Kenny, Ann Christopherand Jonathan Kenworthy - the society works hard at promoting sculpture. This year it launched, with National Westminster Life Assurance, a competition for a full-size sculpture to stand outside the bank's headquarters in Bristol. The competition is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students and those who graduated in July 1992; the winner receives pounds 5,000, and his or her college receives pounds 2,000. So far 51 sculptors have submitted entries and the competition remains open until mid-January; the judging begins on 29 January.
Maurice Blik (born 1939) was born in Holland and, as a Jew, spent three years at Belsen concentration camp, in Germany, during the Second World War. He moved to Britain with his mother afterwards. He attended Hornsey College of Art and taught, as principal lecturer in fine art, at Middlesex Polytechnic. He is presently working on a 60ft-long figurative sculpture which is intended for Belsen and will portray hope transcending despair and hardship.
For further information, contact: The Royal Society of British Sculptors, 108 Old Brompton Road, South Kensington, London SW7 3RA, telephone 071-373 5554.