Desmond Fountain


Desmond Fountain Biography


Although born in Bermuda in 1946, Desmond Fountain spent his early childhood in West Africa.  He pursued art studies in colleges at Stoke-on-Trent and Exeter (where he was President of the Student's Guild), and while a post-graduate at Bristol University, he was commissioned to create a sculpture of their Nobel Prize winner: Cecil Frank Powell.  Other noteworthy portrayals are those of Princess Margaret, Felix Dennis, Mark Twain and Sir George Somers, all of which may be found in the richly illustrated book, Desmond Fountain, Sculptor.

He divides his time between Bermuda and Europe.

Desmond Fountain displayed artistic talent from a young age, winning his first award in an adult competition at seven years old. He developed his evident talent with study at Stoke-on-Trent College of Art; Exeter College of Art, Devon; and University of Bristol. As a college student, Fountain's mastery of the human form, expressed through his nude life-size figures, gained the attention of British national media. While doing post-graduate work at Bristol University, Fountain was commissioned to sculpt a portrait of the University's Nobel-Prize winner C.F. Powell. 

Many other important commissions have since followed for Desmond Fountain, earning him international recognition for the artistry and exactitude of his bronzes. Fountain's portrait of Bermuda founder Sir George Somers, a one-and-a-half times life-size bronze monument, was unveiled in 1984 by H.R.H. Princess Margaret. In 1987, Fountain created a medallion portrait of Princess Margaret for the FIDEM World Congress in Colorado. In the early nineties, he completed a public memorial The Spirit of Joanna, which is displayed in Rodia, Greece, and in 1995 witnessed the unveiling of his life-size sculpture of Mark Twain at the Bermuda National Gallery. Recent commissions include Johnny Barnes (Bermuda), The Oz Trial Heroes (England) and Jorgen Svendsen unveiled in England in June 2002.
A resident of Bermuda, Desmond Fountain established the Bermuda Fine Art Trust in 1982, through which The Bermuda National Gallery was founded in Hamilton. To honor his accomplishments, Fountain was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors. He has had major exhibitions in London; Bermuda; the U.S. (Cavalier Galleries); and the Channel Islands.  In 1989, the Desmond Fountain Sculpture Park was created in Bath, New York by LEADERS Magazine.

While portrait work has composed a portion of Fountain's oeuvre to date, his central sculptural theme remains the female nude. His recent works also include life-size sculptures of children engaged in various activities and a selection of animal sculptures.

Education and Awards:
Stoke on Trent College of Art
Exeter College of Art (DipAD)
University of Bristol (CertEd, ATD)
Lifetime Achievment Award Government of Bermuda 2003
FRBS 1985
Masterworks Gallery, Bermuda, Charman Prize for Sculpture 2008

Selected Exhibitions:
Bermuda Soc of Arts 1958
Exeter City Museum and Art Gallery 1969 and 1970
University of Bristol 1970
City Hall Bermuda (two man show) 1972
City Hall Bermuda (four man show) 1973
Bermuda Society of Arts Gp Show 1974
City Hall Bermuda (three man show) 1975
Newport USA 1976, The Internatiuonal Gallery Bermuda (three man show) 1977
Bermuda Soc of Arts Members Show 1980
British Sculptors Art Centre Bermuda 1987
Art Expo LA 1987
World Congress USA 1987
L'Ortolan Sculpture Garden Berkshire 1993
Bermuda National Gallery, Retrospective 1995
Cavalier Galleries Greenwich and Nantucket 1995-2008

Commissions Include:
Sculpture of Sir George Somers for St George's unveiled by HRH Princess Margaret 1984
Medallions in silver, gold and platinum featuring a portrait of HRH Princess Margaret 1985
Spirit of Joanna Greece 1993-94
Sculpture of Mark Twain unveiled at Directors' Circle preview of Bermuda National Gallery Retrospective 1994/95
Sculpture of The Spirit of Bermuda: Johnny Barnes 1997/98
Heroes of the Oz Trial for Felix Dennis, UK 1997/ 2000
Jorgen Svendsen for Belzona in Harrogate 2002; 2003
Sarah (3 x life size), for The World Sculpture Park, Changchun, China. 2006