Tom Murphy (artist)
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Whiston, Merseyside, England, UK
Tom Murphy (born 1949) is an English artist who is best known for his bronze sculptures.
Murphy is a self-taught artist, starting his artistic career initially as a hobby and moved quickly to an intense period of self-study, mastering a range of techniques in many art disciplines.
Previously he worked in a number of occupations which included; a seaman, salesman, musician and impressionist in a pop group.
Later he graduated as a teacher at Liverpool John Moores University and taught art at the Liverpool Community College. He also worked at a Centre for People with Learning Difficulties. His differing careers and interest in the characteristics of people have both acted as a rich source of inspiration in both his paintings and sculptures.
His early experimenting in painting was finally appreciated when he won first prize in the prestigious BBC 'Art 88' competition. His big success in sculpture came in 1996 when his 7" 6' (226.8 centimetres) sculpture of John Lennon was seen by a representative of major Liverpool Company, Littlewoods. He was commissioned to sculpt two monumental size bronzes of the Moores brothers for Liverpool's premier shopping area Church Street.
His work is all over the city of Liverpool as well as in Chorley, Lancashire, Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley, Merseyside, Germany and New York City. He has also sold many smaller works around the world.
He is the first choice of Sculptor for all the major Liverpool institutions and in 2003, he was voted by Radio Merseyside listeners and Liverpool Echo readers as the 76th Greatest Merseysider.
Now his work is known all over the world since creating the iconic statue of John Lennon at the Liverpool John Lennon Airport which was unveiled jointly on 15 March 2002, by Cherie Blair QC and John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono. He was to return to the airport on 25 July 2002, where he introduced the statue to HM Queen Elizabeth II just before the Queen officially opened the new terminal building. His sculptures of Ken Dodd and Bessie Braddock, commissioned by Merseytravel are sited at Lime Street Railway Station, Liverpool. His bronze statue of former Prime Minister Harold Wilson was erected in front of the railway station in St George's Square, Huddersfield (Wilson's home town). It was unveiled by Prime Minister Tony Blair in the presence of Wilson's widow, Mary, in 1997. Though best known for his large sculptures, he has always maintained his interest in a wide range of art disciplines and sectors. An accomplished painter, he has been commissioned to paint many key Merseyside figures including the official retirement portrait of Mr John Moores.
In 2015 his bronze sculpture of Trooper Potts VC and Trooper Andrews, of the Berkshire Yeomanry was unveiled by Chris Tarrant OBE and the Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire. The Grandchildren of both Fred Potts and Arthur Andrews and many other descendants attended the unveiling ceremony along with Mayors and Chairs of Councils from across "Old Berkshire". Sited just outside Forbury Gardens, Reading Tom developed the design to appeal to children, young people and the military historian. Cast by the Morris Singer Foundry it has a high degree of finish and much historical detail, including items lying on the Gallipoli Battlefield.
- Bessie Braddock and Ken Dodd bronzes (2009) at Lime Street station
- Noel Chavasse VC* bronze (2008), in Abercromby Square
- Johnnie Walker DSO*** bronze (1998), at the Pier Head
- John and Cecil Moores bronze (1996), on Church Street outside their former Littlewoods store
- John Moores bronze (1998) of John Moores, Tithebarn Street
- Bill Shankly bronze (1997), outside Liverpool Football Club
- Dixie Dean bronze outside Everton Football Club
- John Lennon bronze (2002), at Liverpool Airport
- Billy Fury bronze (2003), at Albert Dock
- Henry Egerton Cotton bronze (1998), at John Moores University, Trueman Street
- Liverpool Blitz memorial bronze, in the Sailors' Church garden, Pier Head
- Harold Wilson bronze (1997), Huyton
- Hillsborough disaster memorial bronze (2013), Old Haymarket, Liverpool
- Liverpool Pals Memorial (2014) A screen at Liverpool Lime Street Station
- Trooper Potts VC Memorial (2015). A sculpture in Bronze, The Forbury, Reading
- Great Merseysiders, BBC, retrieved 11 April 2003
- "Lennon Watches Over Airport". BBC News. 15 March 2002. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
- Collection - Tom Murphy, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, retrieved 5 May 2010
- Breathing life into the cold hard clay, Liverpool Daily Post, retrieved 15 July 2008
- "Gallipoli hero Fred Potts statue erected in Reading". BBC News.
- "Tom Murphy Sculptor to unveil Hillsborough memorial with public dedication". Click Liverpool. 12 April 2013.
- "Watch: Earl of Wessex unveils the Liverpool Pals memorial at Lime Street Station". Liverpool Echo. 31 August 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2017.