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Guy Reid

‘I'm absolutely bowled over not only by the
detail - which is small enough to have been done by the Tailor of Gloucester
- but by the overall shape and feel and gestalt of it. That's ME, small
enough to hold in the hand…..and so entirely THERE.’

                                                                                                    Sir Philip Pullman


Having completed his first degree in Politics and History in London, in 1985 Reid began training as a classical carver and restorer, going on to work for the world renowned Spink workshop, where he completed work for institutions as varied as the Metropolitan Museum New York, The Getty Museum California, Harewood House and The Sir John Soane Museum London.


As a portrait sculptor working in lime wood, Reid’s carvings, entirely made by hand, can be painted, partially painted or left unpainted.


It is the body itself, both clothed and naked which interests Reid evoking the complex and particular nature of being human.


Reid works from both live models and photographs. When working on portraits, the engagement he has with the individuals who sit for him is central to his work. This is reflected in the thorough and personal photographic basis of the sculptures. The artist has pointed out that whilst his carving draws on traditions of European gothic and early renaissance lime wood sculpture, it is the photographic basis of his work which gives to his sculptures a perplexing exactness that the medieval sculpture could never achieve. The originality of Guy’s work lies partly in this marriage of traditional practice and photography.


His repeated studies of his partner Andrew represent a tender and questioning examination of a life shared and forms one of the central focuses for his work. Reid sees this body of work as an ongoing documentation of a life.



Exhibiting History


Reid’s reputation was established in the 1990s with his first solo show in the summer of 1999 receiving strong reviews. Other exhibitions followed in London, Manchester, Yorkshire, Birmingham, Liverpool, New York, Miami, Toulouse and Paris.


Public works include a portrait of the author Dame Jacqueline Wilson held in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery London ( 2023).  A portrait of Lady Augusta Gregory for the prestigious Long Room at Trinity College Dublin(2023). A  Christ figure for St. George’s Paris. A large installation work held in the permanent collection of the Musée de Barthete à Boussan in the South of France, the controversial and much acclaimed Madonna and Child at St. Matthew’s Westminster, a figure of Adam for Mirfield College Yorkshire and St Editha for St. Editha’s Church, Polesworth. 14 life sized portrait sculptures are held permanently at the Avoncroft Museum Bromsgrove and a sculpture of the artist Glynn Boyd Harte is held in the permanent portrait collection of the Art Workers Guild London.



Reid’s work can be found in important private collections worldwide. Commissioned works include a series of 4 children’s author portraits commissioned by the publisher David Fickling. Subjects included Dame Jacqueline Wilson and Philip Pullman. His portrait of Dame Jaqueline won first prize in the Society of Portrait Sculptors annual exhibition in 2015. He also won Best International Exhibit at the Society show in 2021. In 2015 he was commissioned to do a portrait of the comedian and TV chat show host Alan Carr. Other well known commissions include the diplomat and negotiator of the Anglo-Irish Agreement, Sir Alan Goodison, and London’s night time Tsarina and club hostess Amy Lamé.

guy reid 2.png

Carved and painted Lime Wood
Height 58cm

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