War Memorials

Works of Gilbert Bayes

Sculpture & the Garden

Polychrome Stoneware

In 1923, after working in conventional materials, Bayes began experimenting with a colourful ceramic body known as polychrome stoneware, which was made at the Royal Doulton pottery in Lambeth. This material was not only available in a wide range of colours but also resistant to frost and erosion, which made it ideal for a garden setting. The first example of the use of this new material was the Blue Robed Bambino of which Bayes had one version installed in his garden, while the other was slightly modified and made for the International Labour Offices in Geneva. On the base of this latter work were words inscribed by Bayes and of his own composition 'O Stream of Life run you slow or fast all streams come to the sea at last'.

Blue Robed Bambino
The Frog Princess
Viking Panel
The Lure of the Pipes

Stone & Marble Work

In 1929, after Selfridges completed their famous roof garden on top of their Oxford Street store, a Doulton relief ware of the Madonna and Child was chosen to decorate one of the ornamental pools.

Bayes had also experimented with concrete as a sculpture medium and produced several panels in the Wembley Exhibition of 1924. With the use of different aggregates he was able to change both the texture and the colour so that it resembled stone. Examples of this type of sculpture are The Hesperides and the Judgement of Paris. Later, he created two garden statues in artificial stone, the Lure of the Pipes of Pan, in 1932, and The Waters Caress in 1934. He also used marble for his sculpture, and example of this is The Unfolding of Spring in 1923, the inspiration for which came from the unfolding of pear blossom outside his studio. He also made the Frog Princess in bronze for an American commission in 1929.

Gilbert Bayes Sculptor

During the 1930's, Gilbert Bayes worked on an exciting art project for the St Pancras Housing Association Improvement Society. Since he believed that art should be available to the people, this commission was close to his heart. He produced relief model lunettes of fairy tale characters for the school in the housing association as well as ceramic sculptures and finial posts. These finials were made at the Doulton Pottery between 1931 and 1938.

Somers Town
Somers Town

Royal Society of British Sculptors

Bayes designed some ambitious fountain groups for other media, which he exhibited at the Royal Academy in the 1930's. His Sea Urchin was shown in 1934 and although originally intended for bronze did not get past the plaster stage. Three years later he showed two plaster panels for his impressive Fountain of the Months, which was later produced, in artificial stone for a London garden. Here guests at the annual garden party that Bayes instigated when he was elected President of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1939 could admire them. Although he received no further garden commissions after the Second World War, his interest in the subject never waned and his work has continued to bring pleasure in private and public settings, just as he intended.