Zoo’s latest exhibit is an artist!
The coastal zoo, home to penguins, seals, sea birds and marine species, has appointed Scott Gleed as artist in residence for the summer.
Living Coasts Director Elaine Hayes said: “We think the partnership will be good for us and good for Scott. We have been working with him over the last year or so. Living Coasts is a terrific source of natural inspiration. We want to bring art and animals face-to-face and see what happens!”
Scott will produce sketches and will sculpt in wax out around the site. He will hold a workshop to encourage children to have a go using modeling clay and there will be an exhibition of Scott’s work in October. In addition, Living Coasts will raffle a piece of Scott’s art to raise money for the charity’s conservation work.
Elaine: “As a conservation charity we are committed to raising awareness of the plight of animals in the wild. This means reaching out to new audiences and using alternative mediums.” This is not the first time Living Coasts has dabbled in art, as the coastal zoo has paid homage to both Antony Gormley and Damien Hirst in the past. “We hope this will bring different people to visit us and that it will be an opportunity for everyone to see Scott’s fantastic sculptures!”
Scott, based in Torbay, was a diver and fast-raider coxswain in the Royal Marine Commandos. After a helicopter incident left him paralysed for 18 months, he re-trained as an illustrator in intelligence and target model-making. He left the armed forces in 1991 to work in model-making, graphics and then sculpture.
He specialises in aquatic sculpture, producing life-size models for aquariums in the UK and abroad and working with leading conservation groups and charities. In 2009 he was a finalist in the David Shepherd International Wildlife Artist of the Year competition, and exhibited in the Mall Galleries London. He is also a conservation volunteer, a diver and teaches at Torquay College.
Scott said: “Living Coast is unique in the UK, with a very different collection of animals to other zoos - the opportunity to sculpt and draw these enigmatic and unusual creatures live was one not to be missed. I am looking forward to observing and learning about these animals over the next 6 months or so.”
This is his first time as an artist in residence. “I have gone to aquariums to observe specific animals, but I normally work from drawings and photos.
“My goal is to create images and sculptures in bronze, copper and other finishes of the many species at Living Coasts, culminating in an exhibition in the autumn. During the summer I will be working in the public areas - I hope visitors will ask questions about my work and the subjects and see them in a different way.”
Outside the school holidays Scott will be on site one day each weekend. During school holidays he will hold two sessions per week – one on Thursday, one on Saturday 11am until 3pm. The residency will run from June to September.