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GUY TAPLIN

Guy Taplin, born in 1939 near Whitechapel, was evacuated to Herefordshire where at a very young age he first developed his passion for birds. On his return to London this continued with egg collecting expeditions to Epping Forest. Leaving school aged 15 he worked for the GPO for five years, following which he spent two years completing his national service including spending time in Cyprus.  On leaving the army he tried a variety of jobs, which eventually led to him becoming a bird keeper of ornamental fowl in Regents Park.Whilst working in Regents Park Guy taught himself to whittle in wood decoy-like models of ducks and geese. In 1978 he had his first exhibition at the Portal Gallery, London where every piece of sculpture sold.  During this time he started to visit the Essex coast from where he not only derived inspiration but also acquired the driftwood for his carvings. In 1980 he moved from London to live near Colchester, where he continues to live and work. Sculpted from found driftwood, which he forages from coasts and estuaries around the world, Taplin's birds are therefore enriched by previous lives. Weathered by time and the elements, each piece of wood bears marks that enhance his design, suggesting the outline of a wing or layers of plumage. Each bird is composed to capture their specific habits and character. His work's apparently simple forms belie a mastery of his subject and is all the more appealing for having been ‘liberated' from the driftwood that he has located.Guy says of his work "I like remnants, echoes of a life lived intensely, of the man who ran this old bit of Spanish fishing boat into port. I want to make something wonderful from the residue of a life lived, of what people have used. These objects have power and birds are transformed into what we're talking about." Guy's carvings are in numerous major worldwide public and private collections.