Alan Somerville is a figurative artist
An unashamed Modernist, whose sculptures and drawings are steeped in the expressionistic style of Rodin, Degas and Daumier. Somerville’s grasp of shape and form is as self-evident as is his dynamic depiction and romantic notion of the human anatomy. Poetic territories are explored, and these qualities are borne from his uncompromising dedication and understanding of the physical structure, movement and expression are vitally important to Somerville. His work seeks to capture a dignity which emanates within, the subject and is never static.
Somerville’s body of work is both broad and critically acclaimed. His numerous public works include the two iconic Bronze Diggers on Sydney’s Anzac Bridge, the Bull at World Square, Sir Henry Parkes in Centennial Park, Sir Roden Cutler, at Manly, and the three bronze sculptures at the Australian War Memorial, plus countless private commissions in Australia and abroad.
Major Public Sculptures
2022 St Christopher and Christ Child, 3.2m Bronze, Canberra Cathedral
2020 Sir James Martin, 1.8m Bronze Martin Place Sydney
2019 Sir James Martin, 1.8m Bronze in Paramatta (2 locations)
2018 Two Busts (A soldier and a Nurse) 1 1/10th Life Size, Freshwater
2017 Our Lady Help of Christians, 2.1m Bronze Canberra Cathedral
2016 Our Lady and Child 1 1/10th Life Size, Seminary Homebush
2013 National Memorial to the Fallen Lifesavers, Coogee Beach, Sydney
2008 NZ WW1 Soldier, 4.2m Bronze Anzac Bridge, Sydney
2007 Sir Tristram with Sir Patrick Hogan, Life size bronze, Cambridge NZ
2007 Blessed Pope John 23rd, Life size bronze, NSW Sydney Diocese
2006 Sir Roden Cutler VC, 2.1m Bronze Manly Primary School, Sydney
2006 Sculpture representing the works of Sisters of Mercy, Mater Hospital, Crows Nest
2005 Manning Horses, three bronze horses, 3/5 life size, Manning Building foyer
2003 Clangalan Racehorse 60cm Bronze, Australian Jockey Club
2003 Australian Armed Services personnel, 2 x 4m Bronze wall plaque, Mittagong RSL
2000 Australian WW1 ‘Digger’ 4.2m bronze, Anzac Bridge, Sydney
2000 Bronze Phoenix, 2m Bronze, Paul Keating Park, Bankstown
1999 Bronze Bull, 1 1/3 life size bronze, World Square
1995 Sir Henry Parkes, 2.4m bronze, Centennial Park
1993 Three works, bronze soldiers National Australian War Memorial, Canberra.
Numerous sculptures held in private collections in Australia, NZ, UK and USA.
As a figurative sculptor I aim to capture the essence of the subject based on strong form. Movement, energy and emotion are very important. I strive for these qualities in my work and value them above absolute anatomical correctness and overworked highly detailed finishing which often destroys spontaneity and feeling. Good art and sculpture should test the viewer’s imagination.
Quotes about Somerville's work
“This outstanding work with its shimmering impressionistic surface outrageously pushes the principles of the great Rodin into the 21st Century.” James Deas, Fine Arts Dealer, Curator William Bowmore Collection
“There is no self-appointed atmosphere of importance to Somervilles work; it is borne purely from his necessity to create and present art distinguished for its emotion, energy and action. For Somerville, it’s not just a simple representation, not just a single dimensional concept. It is more about the soul, and the spirit that dwells within.”
Sculptors Society NSW Darling Park, Viewers Choice 2001
Wyong Arts Festival, Sculpture Award for bronze male figure, 2000
Sydney Royal Easter Show 1st prize Figurative & 1st prize Animal sculpture 1998
Ku-ring-gai Art Society Annual, Grand Prize ‘Best in Show’ plus 1st and 2nd prize for drawing and watercolour 1997
Wyong Arts Festival, Special Sculpture Prize 1997
Willoughby City Art Pize, Viewers Choice Sculpture and Viewers Choice in Drawing 1996
Castle Hill Blossom Festival, special Mayoral award in Sculpture and 1st and 2nd in drawing, water colour, and oil painting 1996 & 1997,
Wyong Arts Festival, special Sculpture prize, 1997
Royal NSW Canine Art Show – Overall best in Art show exhibit award for Sculpture and for watercolour, plus 1st prize in sculpture, water colour and Drawing section 1995 & 1996
Sydney Combined Art Societies, 1st prize Watercolour
- Royal Art Society of NSW, North Sydney
- Northbridge School of Visual Arts
- Sydney Sculpture School, Gladesville
Alan also conducts weekend workshops throughout the year at various venues. If you want to know more about his classes please contact us.
- Salerno Gallery, Glebe
- Frances Keevill Gallery, Double Bay
- Galeria Aniela, Kangaroo Valley
- Artsite, Camperdown
- Max Taylor Gallery, Summer Hill