Warrior of the Surf

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There’s a new resident at Watergate Bay. The Warrior of the Surf – a 15ft giant – now stands at the bottom of the sea lane, looking out to sea. Throughout the installation process, we caught up with the man behind the giant…

Richard Austin

Cornish-based sculptor Richard Austin finds inspiration in all walks of life. Visit his ‘sanctuary’ – the Sculpture Workshop in Wadebridge – and you’ll be introduced to a gathering of characters, metaphoric as they are intricate.

His own pieces are punctuated by the clay work of his students. A proud sign reads: “Work created by participants of the workshop. All were creative novices.”.

The gallery is a whistle-stop tour of Richard’s lifelong reflection process. His work challenges the viewer from a hundred pairs of eyes. Some defiant and noble. Others grotesque. They reflect the fortitude of Paralympic athletics, question the state of Western habit and celebrate the art of a grandad-nap.

For the Warrior of the Surf, Richard found his inspiration at Watergate Bay. Using recycled milk bottle plastic he emulated the pensive, timeless ritual of a surfer watching the waves. The sculpture went on a pan-Atlantic tour, featuring in public places and temporary residencies around the world.

15 years later, on Friday 25 May 2018, Warrior finished its journey where it began: permanently fixed to the seawall at Watergate Bay.

Next time you visit Watergate Bay, don’t miss the opportunity to capture your own photos and use #warriorofthesurf to share them with us.

Richard is hosting his Sculpture Workshops at Watergate Bay this summer. Join him on the beach and learn the basics of sculpting from one of the leading names in Cornish sculpting.

Visit the Sculpture Workshop website to see more of Richard’s work.