Shelagh WAKELY (1932 - 2011)

 Shelagh Wakely (b. 1932, Madingley - 2011, London) was a pioneer of installation art. Born in the small village of Madingley, Cambridgeshire, in 1932, Wakely spent much of her youth in Kenya where her father was Director General of the British Colonial Scientific Survey for Africa. She returned to England as a teenager to study agriculture, but quickly turned to the arts, studying painting and screen-printing at the Chelsea College of Art (1958-1962).  Wakely worked as a textile and clothing designer through the 1960s but a research fellowship at the Royal College of Art (1968-1971) led her to turn to sculpture. Early exhibitions were held at the Serpentine Gallery, London, (1977); ICA, London, (1979) and John Hansard Gallery, Southampton (1982).  These shows cemented her reputation as a multifaceted artist: installations, sculptures, drawings and paintings all incorporated across the breadth of her practice.


Later landmark exhibitions include The British School at Rome, 1991, where she was a Fellow, IKON Gallery, Birmingham, 1992; Museu do Acude, Rio de Janeiro, 1993; and an outdoor installations, Rainsquare installed at the South London Gallery in 1994 and Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham, 2002.


Public commissions include: Royal Albert Hall, London, 2001, Marunouchi Building, Tokyo 2002, Beckenham Beacon Hospital, Kent, 2009, and Nottingham University Hospital City Campus, Nottingham, 2010.


The estate of Shelagh Wakely is represented by Richard Saltoun Gallery.


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