The Charter School North Dulwich is launching a campaign to fund the restoration of The Striding Man - a Grade II listed 6ft bronze sculpture by Oliffe Richmond, the Australian artist and one-time assistant to Henry Moore. Historic England describe the sculpture as “one of the outstanding pieces commissioned by the London County Council, the leading patron of public art in the period 1945-65”.
After years of uncertainty, the school has established itself as the custodian of the sculpture, and successfully received Southwark Council's approval for its repair. The school aims to fully restore the sculpture, currently boxed for protection on the school grounds.
Headteacher Christian Hicks explains:
“Returned to its former glory Striding Man, our school's students and staff will be able to appreciate the sculpture, and at last, the school can offer community access to view and enjoy the sculpture through visits and events. Few schools have the chance to bring art of this importance to local people - but we need help to achieve our goal.”
At a time of significant pressure on school budgets and a crisis in arts funding due to the pandemic, the school is seeking help from those with a passion for increasing community access to art. Interested individuals and organisations are encouraged to contact the school to discuss the project or can donate at Let Striding Man Walk Tall again - Online Social Fundraising Donation Platform | Givey
More about Striding Man and Oliffe Richmond
The Striding Man is a sculpture commissioned by London County Council in 1959 and installed in 1962, by sculptor Oliffe Richmond. It is bronze, six feet high and standing on a concrete plinth. Historic England describe it as,
“A tall, stooping figure that displays different qualities from different angles, with its claw-like feet, knotted and elongated legs, hunched back and heavy burden. The tension of movement caught in stasis recalls Rodin's headless 'L'Homme qui Marche', while the battered, vulnerable form and striated surface is reminiscent of the work of Giacometti” https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1385809
Oliffe Richmond (1919-1977) was born in Australia and moved to the UK after art school to become an assistant to Henry Moore in 1949/50. He was one of Australia's truly International artist, at the centre of the sculptural art world in the late 1950 and early 1960's England, with friends and associates including Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.
He taught sculpture at Chelsea School of Art and was included in many Arts Council 'British sculpture' exhibitions during the 1950s and 1960s. One-man exhibitions included Hamilton Gallery and Molton Gallery. A major retrospective was held in Australia in 1980.
Oliffe Richmond's work is included in many public collections including the Arts Council and the Tate Gallery, who have 8 works by the artist. Richmond came from Tasmania in 1948 and later worked for Henry Moore before embarking on a teaching career.