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Tom Merrifield
Internationally recognised master sculptor of bronze
November 2004

Tom Merrifield was born in Sydney, Australia. Trained as a classical dancer he became a soloist with the Borovansky Ballet aged sixteen. In 1956 he moved to Britain to begin a distinguished career in film, television and the West End including ‘On the Town’, ‘West Side Story’, ‘Man of la Mancha.’

During long periods of waiting on film sets, Tom drew his fellow dancers and this new found ‘pastime’ led to an invitation to exhibit his drawings at a West End gallery. Shortly before the opening of this exhibition, “Dance”, Tom saw some sculptures that were intended to be exhibited in conjunction with his drawings. He instantly set to work, in his dressing room at the Adelphi Theatre where he was then the principal dancer in ‘Showboat’, and produced the model for his first figure in bronze. His first sculptures were then substituted for those due to be exhibited and he received great acclaim from the critics. He never looked back.

Tom has sculpted many of the world’s most famous dancers, including the late Alicia Markova, Beryl Grey, Natalia Makarova, Antoinette Sibley, Galina Samsova, Marion Tait, Anton Dolin, John Gilpin, Anthony Dowell, Wayne Sleep, Agnes Oaks and Thomas Edur. Tom has exhibited and sold his work in London, Paris, New York, Edinburgh, Brussels, Monte Carlo and in many other cities. His work has also been recognized by the Royal Society of British Sculptors who elected him ARBS for ‘Distinction in the Art of Sculpture’.

Tom works from life, preferring to sketch and model his dancers in class or at his Hampstead studio. In recent years he has completed several life sized sculptures, many gracing prominent public places worldwide. Possibly the most challenging and poignant is the bust of Diana, Princess of Wales, commissioned after her death by the British Red Cross. This exquisite work is displayed at the Red Cross headquarters in London.

Tom’s work is in private collections throughout the world and he is recognized as being a major living artist. The Bolshoi Ballet presented him with a signed ballet shoe as their tribute to his talent. He feels that the more he works in bronze, the more he realises that he never really gave up dancing.

Tom lives in Hampstead, London, and is married to Blackie, who has supported and promoted his work throughout his career

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