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Thursday: 10am - 5pm
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Sunday: 11am - 5pm

Emily Young: Four Heads

[ Exhibition )

Stone sculpture of a female head by Emily Young. The face has soft features and closed eyes and the hair is rough rock.

For almost a year, the gallery's courtyard was adorned with four stone heads by Emily Young, widely acknowledged as Britain’s greatest living stone sculptor.

Young masterfully creates human presences from ancient stone, carefully balanced with the physical qualities of the rock – bringing humanity closer to nature.

Born in London to a creative family, Young started out as a painter and attended a number of prestigious teaching institutions throughout the 1960s and 70s: Chelsea School of Art, Central Saint Martins and Stonybrook University, New York. In the early 1980s, she turned to sculpture and began working with stone, raiding quarries around the world for distinctive and discarded materials.

She uses both contemporary and ancient methods of sculpting and her impressive pieces grapple with our relationship with the planet – marrying the human form with unruly natural shapes and textures. Each piece is wholly unique because of the geological history of her source materials, which bring their organic and spontaneous beauty to the fore. The results are serene, poetic and hugely impactful.

Young now lives and works between studios in northern Italy and London. Her powerful sculptures have been exhibited all over the world, including The Getty in California, La Defense in Paris, The V&A and the Imperial War Museum in London.

Want to know more?

If you’re conducting research into this artist or another aspect of Modern British art and would like to use our library and archive, please contact Sarah Norris, Collections Manager on

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