SHARON Rich’s Cornish roots are the biggest inspiration behind the stoneworker’s art which will be on show during Swindon Open Studios next month.

The Faringdon artist is one of more than 50 creative souls taking part in this year’s event, which will run on the weekends of September 5 and 6 and September 12 and 13.

Sharon’s work will be on display at her home and studio in Henleaze Farm, Fernham, one of 39 different locations across the town being opened up for the eighth Swindon Open Studios.

“Much of my work has a Celtic theme which stems from my Cornish roots,” she said. “All of my work is produced by hand, using a mallet and chisel.

“The stone I use varies between limestone, various soapstone, slate and alabaster. I also have some works in clay.

“I have a small studio which is both a workspace and display area. Much of my sculpture is displayed in my large garden overlooking the Uffington White Horse Hill.

“I produce stone sculpture in the form of nature, animals, the human form. My sculpture and daily life fit together. If I’m not stone carving, I’m thinking about it.

“My earliest memories of producing art are drawing horses heads on my school exercise books instead of listening to the teacher.

“I would like to be remembered as a sculptor who followed her dreams against the odds.”

Sharon take her inspiration from nature and Celtic art and said her favourite artist is 19th century sculptor Neville Northey Burnard.

“He was a Cornishman who became famous for his stone portraits for the rich and famous including Queen Victoria,” she said. “He has been described as ‘a wayward genius’ and ‘darling of London Society’.

“I can’t put my finger on one favourite single piece of art. To me, art means, freedom, self expression and creativity.

My advice for any artist is to set yourself goals, be determined and follow your heart.”

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