Elisabeth Hadley, who was born in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, has lived in Brixham, Devon for the past twelve years. Here in her studio on Horsepool Street she sculpts her beautiful, graceful and sensual figures, which she then has cast into limited edition bronzes.
Her interest and talent for sculpting the human form first developed while studying for a B.A (Hons.) in Ceramics at Bristol Polytechnic. Whilst still studying, Elisabeth was asked to sculpt the head of Mr Bennett for the children’s programme ‘Take Hart’, she also won a competition to design a trophy for Sports Personality South West, which was executed in silver and porcelain on a mahogany base.
Elisabeth then spent a year with Aardman Animations as a freelance model maker, working on several TV commercials- Lurpak butter and Cadbury’s creme eggs, to name but two. Whilst still with Aardman, Elisabeth did work on the short animated film, War Story. As a result of having worked for Aardman Animations, Elisabeth was asked to be the voice of Wendy in Rex the Runt, a series of short plasticine animated films for Channel 4 television.
Though Elisabeth enjoyed her time with Aardmans she was keen to continue her studies and left after a year, having attained a three-year sponsorship to study at the Sir Henry Doulton School of Sculpture in Staffordshire. This is where Elisabeth gained her great knowledge of traditional sculpting techniques – anatomy, life drawing, life sculpting and mould making. Here, Elisabeth became successful in another design competition- a piece of her own sculpture translated to become a medallion for promoting the National World Wild Life fund for Nature.
Elisabeth is widely travelled having back packed through several countries, though it was visiting Kenya that was the most inspirational and sparked off a series of beautiful sculptures, which capture the poise and grace of the African form.
In 1997 she relocated to the South West of England and is currently working from her studio in Brixham, Devon producing limited edition bronzes and taking private commissions. In 2005, she was approached to sculpt a life-size mermaid, which was cast in bronze and is now sited on private land at the mouth of the river Dart. Christened Miranda, Elisabeth’s mermaid has quickly become a landmark and a tourist attraction in the area.
In 2008 Elisabeth completed another life size commission, a Greek style water feature for a private garden in Taunton. In the very near future Elisabeth will be starting a monumental sculpture for Brixham, one of the UK’s major fishing ports. She has been commissioned to sculpt two life and a half size fishermen helming the wheel of a boat, this memorial sculpture is to be cast into bronze.