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  • Writer's pictureRichard Atkinson - Willes

Behind every great sculptor

Introducing sculptor Mike Long... and the technical magicians at Talos Foundry


The Talos Art Foundry is particularly privileged to cast all of Mike Long’s bronze sculptures, working closely with the artist to create many of the free-form structures which contain his signature athletic figures. We have travelled to his studio in Aquitaine, in the south of France, to mould a major piece for him, and look forward to his visits to the foundry, where he comes sometimes for several weeks at a time to construct and finish his intricate and finely balanced sculptures

Mike Long, a graduate from Goldsmiths University and later Head of Art at King Edward VI School in Southampton, has always had a passion for the art of anatomy and movement. The inspiration for his work comes from his time spent with London Contemporary Dance and Ballet Rambert, where Mike observed the poise, balance and strength of the dancers.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Mike’s spectacular sculpture of a male dancer, cast by the Talos Foundry last year, or in his newest piece, “Swimmers”, which will be amongst the large bronzes in this year’s Summer Exhibition. “Swimmers” has just been patinated after an epic fortnight spent building the sinuous reed structures which support two beautifully detailed free-divers. It’s an engineering tour de force as well as the culmination of many months of study and making – this is Mike at the top of his game.


The technical mastery seen in work by sculptors like Mike Long always owes much to the skill of the foundry’s technicians. The Talos Art Foundry is particularly fortunate to have two very experienced chasers (who assemble, finish and patinate the bronze casts) who are themselves artists: Matthew Duke and Patrick Bull.

Matt has developed a signature style of highly finished animal studies which capture the dynamism and energy of his subjects – some as tiny as mice and others as majestic as his new ‘Red Kite’, which stands two metres tall.

Both Matt and Pat are masters of the art of patination (when the bronze is heated and given its final colour). Like all artists, they love to push the boundaries of what is possible and explore ever more astonishing colour effects. Pat’s conical bird bath reflects the jewel colours of a solitary kingfisher – it’s a beautiful piece and we are so proud to feature the very latest work from these two great technicians in our summer show.

Matt Duke's Red Kite.

Pat Bull's Kingfisher Bird Bath will also be on display in the gardens for our Summer Exhibition.


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