How did Devotum start
A chance browse through a 1998 copy of The Catholic Directory of England & Wales in 2005 led to the setting up of Devotum in that same year and the fulfilment of a long held wish.
The wish was to create a range of religious statues that were not only of a devotional nature but also of artistic merit and value in themselves. Beautiful works of art that could act as a quiet presence in peoples’ homes.
The overall essentials were, that they be created by English artists, made in England and marketed at a price within the reach of many.
The chance browse in The Directory led to noticing an advertisement for special commissions by the English sculptor David Cope. It included an image of a statue of St Francis of Assisi created by David. Instinctively, I knew that this was the kind of quality I had been searching for.
I then commissioned David to create and cast an initial range of five limited edition statues exclusively for Devotum. David showed a natural sensitivity to the subject matter and he worked closely with us to make sure each statue portrayed the essence of the subject he was sculpting. The result was the range of statues and plaques which form the basis of Devotum today. The range grew to include eleven statues and three plaques. Three of the statues were specifically commissioned; St Philip Neri by The Oratory in London, St Philip Howard by Arundel Cathedral and St John Southworth by Westminster Cathedral. David continued to cast all the statues until 2010 when he retired from doing so.
How has Devotum grown since 2010
Still adhering to the overall ethos of Devotum, producing high quality hand crafted sculptures made in England, these limited edition works of art are now cast by Simon Gray, an English castor who works in the different finishes introduced by David Cope. The painted editions are now executed by Patricia Story, an English portrait painter of international renown.
At the heart of Devotum is our interest in how our work can inspire a greater interest in the devotional as our name would imply. Each statue and plaque is accompanied by a prayer card and we have introduced a range of Sacramental cards with sacred images taken from features of stained glass windows created by Andrew Taylor, the English stained glass window artist and craftsman. These quality cards are made by KerryType Ltd in Sussex.
Although Devotum has been the fulfilment of my long held wish, various members of my family have been involved from the start in terms of support and inspiration. The Devotum logo was designed by a granddaughter, the name itself suggested by a grandson and the present website designed by Hugh, another grandson. Click Here to view his website.
Gillian van der Lande
David Cope, the sculptor
David Cope was born in Lichfield, Staffordshire and studied at Stafford College of Art and Alsager College. After completing his studies, he travelled extensively in Europe and the USA studying sculpture and art.
David has worked in theatre and schools, making props and painting scenery including the construction of a 50ft giant, complete with a 7ft high portrait head!
He was actively involved in teaching art and drama until 1997, when he gave them up to concentrate on his work in the field of art and sculpture.
David has also produced miniature military figures from medieval times to the 20th century. These are in museums and private collections all over the world. One area of particular interest is in ecclesiastical sculpture and his work can be seen in many churches and buildings across the south east of England. David lives in Kent where he continues to sculpt and paint.
Based on the Surrey Sussex borders, Simon Gray supplies moulds and fine art castings to local sculptors and also sub-contract casting work to the local trade and further afield.
With experience in Bronze Foundry casting, and having worked as apprentice in a large workshop, he has gained experience in a wide range of unusual work from plaster architectural mouldings; fibreglass props from TV and film; working on a full size fibreglass resin tiger supplied to London Zoo; and unusual and varied repair & conservation work from antique furniture and machinery to carriage wheels.
Simon is equally comfortable with large one-off commissions; consistent quality large multiple runs; or challenging unusual repairs.
Patricia Story is an international portrait painter. She trained at The Ruskin School of Drawing in Oxford and has painted many murals, one of which is the ceiling of the listed Egyptian Hall in Harrods. Patricia lives in Surrey.
Andrew Taylor is an elected Fellow of The British Society of Master Glass Painters who lives in Wiltshire.
Andrew has been working with stained glass for 25 years and in that time has been commissioned to do over 60 new church windows. He works primarily in the traditional way using mostly handmade antique glass, leaded and soldered together, but often with the emphasis on painting the glass with traditional vitreous fired paints.
His studio also deals with the conservation and restoration of painted stained glass and generally the care of all types of glass in Architecture.
Click here to view Andrew Taylor’s website.