To describe Tom Leaper as a sculptor, while technically correct, is to do him a disservice as his work encompasses considerably more than is usually accepted by this term.
For over 30 years, Tom has produced a remarkable variety of work, from the figurative to the abstract, from small studio pieces to large scale projects in public spaces, using a wide variety of materials and techniques.
As well as possessing an artist’s talent to engage, challenge and inspire the viewer, Tom is also hugely competent from a technical standpoint and is able to work seamlessly with architects, engineers and building teams so that concepts are not only realised but also stand the test of time.
When working on private or public commissions, Tom liaises closely with his clients, exploring their initial thoughts and ideas and developing them into a unique end product, tailored to their requirements. This is particularly apparent in his work designing fountains and water features, where practical considerations are often as important as the aesthetic.
“I start where virtually anything is possible, continually refining my original ideas exploring the volumes and water dynamics of the feature, using positive and negative shape in conjunction with the volume to imply movement and presence; the work is a journey through ideas,” says Tom.
Another key aspect to Tom’s work, especially the larger projects in outdoor environments, is not only are they imaginative and arresting pieces in their own right, but the reason for this is also due to an acute sensitivity to their setting. The pieces are always designed to exist in harmony with their surroundings, taking many factors, including light, weather, aspect and even history into consideration.
Based in Cornwall, Tom’s public sculptures include the poignant Fishermen’s Memorial at the port of Newlyn and numerous markers for English Heritage and the South West Coastal Footpath. Private commissions can be seen in some of the finest English gardens in the country, including Tresco’s Abbey Garden, Arley Hall and Trewithen to name but a few.