Robert Erskine was born in London.
From an early age he displayed an enquiring disproportionate disposition towards all things mechanical.
At 4 years of age he successfully locked, without keys, the family’s late 50’s Kelvinator fridge and aged 6 he started dismantling the family car. He then progressed to using his father’s medical instruments, (his father was a doctor and none too pleased), as stone carving tools and a personal turning point took place in 1967, aged13, he was taken to St Paul de Vence, Provence, to visit the Maeght Art Foundation. The exhibition was of paintings by Marc Chagall and a memorial exhibition of sculpture by Giacometti, who had recently died. Enquiring as to the meaning of a huge banner across the road to the museum proclaiming the word ‘SCULPTURE’, he was told to go inside to see. The exhibition confirmed that what he wanted to do was ‘make sculpture’.
At high school he had his first exhibition, which consisted of 8 large abstract carved blocks of plaster. After completing high school he studied sculpture at Kingston School of Art and Design, Kingston Polytechnic, gaining a BA(Hons) degree in fine art sculpture, and completed post-graduate studies in sculpture, gaining an MA in fine art sculpture, under Professor Reg Butler at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London.
Trained in stone carving, ceramics, drawing, metal working, and welding, Robert often works in wrought and welded bronze, stainless steel, and copper alloys. Drawing is central to the development of his ideas. Among the many areas of focus is his fascination with the endless energy and rhythm of passing crowd forms, which make up the cityscape. He continues to develop his ideas.
Robert’s work is internationally renowned and he has exhibited widely in Japan, Europe, Great Britain, and the USA; most notably a solo exhibition of sculpture and related two-dimensional works at the World Headquarters of Pfizer Pharmaceutical Inc, New York. This exhibition then went on tour to other major cities across the USA.
Robert has undertaken many architectural commissions, and designed award winning sculpture for major commercial developments, and regeneration schemes. He has also created numerous monumental landmark sculptures throughout the UK and Europe.
In 1999 he represented Great Britain at the European City of Culture Sculpture Symposium, ‘A Sea of Steel’, hosted by Holland. Of the 12 participating countries, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands awarded Robert’s steel sculpture, ‘White Rhythm’, weighing in at 13.5 tons, first prize. The sculpture is sited permanently in the sculpture park of Wijk aan Zee. The Hakone Open Air Museum of Sculpture, Japan, awarded his sculpture ‘Sky Thought’ the maquette of excellence, at the International Sculpture Biennale, 1992. For his sculpture ‘Quintisection’ a monumental stainless steel piece sited in Durham, he was awarded by the Royal British Society of Sculptors, the 1994 international Sir Otto Beit Award for the most outstanding new public sculpture worldwide, and in 1996 his landmark sculpture ‘Roll Down’ sited at Bilston, West Midlands, was nominated for the Anderson Sculpture Prize.
The Courtauld Institute and the Public Monuments and Sculptures Association, London, have awarded Robert’s public and landmark sculptures the status of permanent public monuments in acknowledgement of his contribution to the heritage and culture of the nation.
His work is held in many private and public collections around the world.
Associate of the Royal Society of British Sculptors 1993.
Fellowship of the Royal Society of British Sculptors 1996.
Robert is naturally involved in design as much as his sculpture, and works in the areas of product and industrial design, holding design patents. He has been design consultant for Marks & Spencer and Nestle Europe. In the area of architectural development he has been a designer working on the Sultan of Brunei’s Palace, and private and commercial developments including international Hotel Developments.
Robert is also a regular contributor and broadcaster to the most respected live automotive weekly broadcast on US radio, Autolab Broadcast. With his unique background in sculpture and design he brings a focus on automotive design and technology innovation.
1970-71 – Ealing School of Art and Design, London. Foundation Studies in Painting, Sculpture, Graphics, Photography, Printing, Life Drawing
1971-75 – Kingston School of Art and Design, Kingston Polytechnic, Kingston -Upon- Thames, Surrey. Awarded B.A. (Hons.) Degree, Fine Art Sculpture
1976-78 – Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. Postgraduate degree studies in Fine Art Sculpture. Awarded M.A. Sculpture