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An Olympian feat?

  • by Ian Lang

It’s not so long ago that sculptor Nick Elphick was so up against it that he had to sleep in his own studio – which he often couldn’t afford to heat.

How things have changed in a relatively short time. He’s now numbered amongst the UK’s most promising and talented new kids on the block. But it’s been hard work for the 32-year-old, who works out of a studio in Llandudno.

His biggest break to date has been a commission to produce four sculptures of Greek Olympians for an opera being performed in the Buckinghamshire home of John Paul Getty Jr.

They’ll be an important part of the stage design for the opera, Vivaldi’s L’Olimpiade, which is set at the Greek Olympics of old. They’re each 10ft high but will be placed on 5ft high pedestals.

Designer David Roger said

“Nick stood out for me as the very best choice amongst artists working in Britain today who could produce totally authentic large scale sculptures of the Classical Greek School, combining a heroic authenticity with a theatrical flair that will be both beautiful and imposing. I feel very fortunate in gaining his collaboration on this project which I know has fired his imagination. He is bringing a huge amount of passion to the work and we are all looking forward to the arrival of these dramatic pieces.”

Nick Elphick said:

“I am delighted to have been commissioned by Garsington Opera to produce these exciting sculptures of athletes, especially in the year of the London Olympics. The vision the team have for their production this summer is incredible and it is an amazing project to be working on.”

Garsington Opera’s season runs from 2 June to 3 July and will be its second in its spectacular new home on the Wormsley estate in the Chiltern Hills. As well as presenting Vivaldi’s L’Olimpiade there will be new productions of Offenbach’s La Périchole and Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

Nick recently won a prestigious commission to create a bust of the Queen for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. He also created 60 replicas which will be used by communities in Cheshire for the celebrations.

He’s definitely a Welsh talent to watch.

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