We were appointed by the River & Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames to devise a project and artist brief for an iconic public art commission to commemorate the extraordinary sporting achievements of Sir Steve Redgave and Sir Matthew Pinsent.
Sean Henry was chosen from a selected shortlist on the basis of his modelling and classical approach to bronze sculpture. He worked with both Redgrave and Pinsent over a number of sittings to establish the ideal stance and refine their posture. Henry wanted to capture the years of training that lay behind the glory of their achievements, as well as the glory itself.
Standing on the dock in timeless, crumpled training kit, each holding an oar and facing the river, ’Rowers’ represents both athletes as they prepare to take to the water, conveying a mix of studied ease, masking the pre-race tension, mixed with apprehension and expectation. The sculptures are larger than life size and were first sculpted in clay, before being cast in bronze and finally painted by hand.
We commissioned ‘Rowers’ in 2002 on behalf of the River & Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames.