Born in Wales of a German refugee father, Neil attended Bulmershe College, Reading, where he studied sculpture under Dennis Harland and Alf Parks. For many years he worked in his own studio in Cumbria and exhibited in the gallery attached to it.
From 2005 to 2011 he was sculptor in residence at Peralta, Tuscany – a small medieval hamlet restored by the Italian sculptor Fiore De Henriquez. He then went on to work in the marble studios in Pietrasanta, the Italian ‘citta d’arte’, close to the Carrara marble quarries.
The main influences throughout his career have been European – looking towards Brancusi and Eduardo Chillida. Music has always been a big part of Neil’s life and contemporary improvised music and modern jazz have both had a major influence on his work, sharing similar characteristics of improvisation and abstraction. Neil’s sculptures are in private collections in Italy, Sweden, England and the USA.
I strive to make pieces that are fully three dimensional, that have no front, back or sides, where all views are equally interesting. I feel a sculpture needs to be more than a collection of views, but to have a feeling of unity in space, an inner logic. If this can be achieved, the question of viewing angles does not arise. Once the form is arrived at in clay it has to be transferred to a more permanent material, usually plaster, which allows for further refinement before being carved in stone or cast in another material – usually either marble or bronze.