Public Art Portishead Quays The Lady Sings, Michael Disley Flying, Lucy Glendinning Fallen Nails, Cod Steaks Ship to Shore, Jon Buck Gates and Fencing to Portishead Primary School, Matthew Fedden When Shall We Three Meet Again...?, Robert Stuart Clamp
Previous back to index Next
Buck, Jon
Ship to Shore – about the artwork

Born in Pill, Jon Buck descends from a family of Bristol Pilots, who for generations have safely guided shipping vessels through the waters from Portishead to Bristol.  

An imposing spot set on the headland overlooking the Bristol Channel will be the remarkable final setting for Jon Buck’s bronze heads, four metres high and vibrantly patinated in red.  They relate to those ‘who journey’ and those ‘who wait’, acting as sentinel at the entrance to the new marina.  

“The inspiration for this work came directly from the physical and historical context of the dockside in which it is placed.  The form of the work reflects the shipping bollards that still exist along the old quayside.  Superimposed is a male head looking out to sea and above is his female counterpart facing the opposite direction.  This makes reference to the dichotomy that was always present in seafaring communities.  Ship to Shore was a type of communication used to connect the two.”  Jon Buck. 




Jon BuckJon Buck studied at Trent Polytechnic, 1975-79 and Manchester Polytechnic, 1979-80.  Following his studies, he was appointed Fellow in Sculpture at Gloucestershire College of Art and Technology, 1980-81 and was the first artist in residence for Thamesdown Borough Cuncil in 1984-85, financed by Southern Arts.

Interest in how we relate to the natural world and the making of sculptural objects have always been inextricably linked in Jon Buck's mind.  Initially the content of his work was overtly expressed through quite complex and relatively naturalistic figurative compositions.  In attempting to draw together, in a more meaningful way, the two elements of his interest, his work has become simpler and more iconic in form.  In 2000 he produced a body of work that was shown in an exhibition entitled 'Intimate Connections'.  These sculptures look to act as intercessors between our contemporary intellectual-selves and a more ancient sensory, unconscious-self that connects us with our primitive more fundamental natures.

Jon Buck has exhibited regularly since 1980 mostly in Europe, America and Britain.  Most recent are his sculptures 'Returning to Embrace' shown at Canary Wharf in the exhibition, 'The Shape of the Century: 100 Years of Sculpture in Britain.  Currently his sculpture 'Goodwood Goddess' is part of the main collection at Goodwood, and the maquette for the piece is included in the exhibition at the Venice Guggenheim Museum, Venice, 2002.  He has undertaken a number of major commissions including, the new British Consulate-General in Hong Kong, Deal Pier in Kent, Milton Keynes General Hospital, Canary Wharf in London the West Quay Centre in Southampton and Bristol University's Centre for Sport, Exercise and Health.

Recent Selected Exhibitions

Jon Buck‘A Celebration of British Sculpture’  Harold Martin Botanic Gardens, Leicester

‘British Silver Week 2009’, various venues,

‘Fire and Brimstone’ Gallery Pangolin, Gloucestershire. One of twelve sculptors invited to experiment with the casting process at Pangolin Editions foundry

‘Sculptors’ Prints’ Part of Impress ’09 National Printmaking Festival, Gallery Pangolin,Gloucestershire

‘In the Mix’ Pangolin London, Kings Place, London


One of 50 artists invited to take part in ‘Sterling Stuff II’ Pangolin London, Kings Place, London
‘20/21’ Royal College of Art, London
‘Image’ collaborative exhibition with photographer Steve Russell at the Campden         Gallery, Gloucestershire, catalogue with introduction by art critic Tom Flynn


‘Art London’, Chelsea, London


One of three artists invited to contribute to 'Animals and Birds', Jubilee Park,
Canary Wharf, London
‘Art London’, Chelsea, London, solo exhibition


'Odd Birds and Other Selves' solo exhibition of recent work, Gallery Pangolin, Gloucestershire. Catalogue introduced by Professor Colin Rhodes, author of Primitivism and Modern Art and Outsider Art, Spontaneous Alternatives
    'Out of the Melting Pot' invited group of artists working in bronze, Parc Heintz, Luxembourg

'Sterling Stuff', Sigujon Olafsson Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland; Royal Academy, London
'Tooth and Claw', Royal West of England Academy, Bristol
'Synergy', UBS, Curzon Street, London
'In Retrospect', Gallery Pangolin, Chalford, Gloucestershire

'Summer Exhibition', Royal Academy, London
'Fantastic Animals', Donjon de Vez, Paris
'Thinking Big', Peggy Guggenhaim Collection, Venice
'Sterling Stuff', Gallery Pangolin, Chalford, Gloucestershire

2001 One man show, Courcoux & Courcoux, Stockbridge, Hants
Sculpture at Goodwood, West Sussex

'Bronze', Holland Park, London
'Intimate Connections', One man show, Gallery Pangolin, as above
'Sculpture 2000', Milton Keynes

Recent Public Commissions

2004 'Flat Out', Centre for Sport, Exercise and Health, Bristol University
2002 'Family', Paddington Central Development, London
2001 'Equilibrium', Milton Keynes General Hospital
'Family' Milton Keynes General Hospital
2000 'In the Swim', West Quay Shopping Cenre, Southampton
1999 'Returning to Embrace', Canary Wharf, London

Selected Biography

2000 'Goodwood Goddess' commissioned for Sculpture at Goodwood
1999/2000 Artist Consultant to Pontypridd Town Centre Enhancement Scheme
1999 'Embracing the Sea' awarded the Rouse Kent Public Art Award
1995 Artist Consultant to Caerphilly Town Centre Enhancement Scheme
1994 Elected Associate Royal Society of British Sculptors
1991 'Embrace' commissioned for Margam Sculpture Park, funded by Henry Moore Foundation
1990 Elected Member Royal West of England Academy
1988 Awarded bronze medal, 150th Anniversary Exhibition, Manchester School of Art & Design
1985 First Artist in Residence, Thamesdown Borough Council
1980/1 Fellow in Sculpture, Cheltenham College of Art
1980 Awarded Sculpture Prize, Manchester Royal Academy
1979/80 MA Fine Art, Manchester
1975/9 BA (Hons) Fine Art, Nottingham

For more information on the artist, please see