Former Chief Executive of both the Wales Tourist Board and the Countryside Council of Wales, Paul Loveluck took up his role in October 2002. He has been the Head and Chief Officer of the Museum, providing direction and leadership to the Board of Trustees, the executive body responsible for the management of the Museum.
Success in his term of office includes the opening of the new National Waterfront Museum in Swansea opened last year by rugby legend, Gareth Edwards and Rt. Hon Rhodri Morgan, whose bronze bust Shepherd is in the process of creating. This is the third bronze by Luke Shepherd to be owned by the museum. The other 2 being Leo Abse and Derek Williams
"My work is to bring life to the clay and in that way capture the essence of the sitter" stated the sculptor.
Oliver Fairclough, Former Keeper of Art, stated to the sculptor “Thank you again for rising to the challenge of capturing the spirit of the man so sensitively and eloquently.” The bust joins the collection of previous presidents modelled by Ivor Roberts-Jones.
The president’s post is taken over by Elisabeth Elias, the first woman to hold such a post. Paul Loveluck, said:
"I am delighted Elisabeth Elias is to be my successor. Not only will this provide much desired continuity as the National Museum, but she also brings outstanding personal qualities, great experience and commitment to the role."
Free entry to the sites of Amgueddfa Cymru was introduced by the Welsh Assembly Government 10 years ago, to enable everyone to enjoy the nation’s rich heritage of arts, sciences and social and industrial history. The policy continues to be a remarkable success, with an increase of over 80% in visitor figures since 2001. The 1 April this year was the 10th anniversary of free entry, since when some 15 million people will have visited the seven sites of across Wales.
Christopher Biggins is once more undergoing a further trial. This time not of the ‘bushtucker’ variety, but in clay.
Biggins is sitting for a portrait bust while in Plymouth starring in Aladdin, at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth. The unveiling of the bust, when he returns to the Theatre Royal.
The sculptor explains "I approached Biggins through the theatre with a view to immortalizing him in bronze. He has such a large personality and expressive face. This was a serious challenge but I am really pleased with the outcome and so is Christopher."
"The theatre has been marvelous and given me a temporary studio where Christopher sat each day." states Devon based portrait sculptor Luke Shepherd
Biggins exclaimed "You have absolutely captured me, you’ve done a most fantastic job. I couldn’t be more thrilled. I love it!"
Biggins is a keen art collector and has been collecting paintings and sculpture all his life, which he enjoys to have around him, rather than as an investment.
Christopher Biggins has a strong relationship with the Theatre Royal in Plymouth. The bust will be displayed in the foyer of the theatre.
Oh I’d go to the opening of an envelope.
Christopher Biggins ...Official London Theatre Guide
The sittings took place at the the ministers home in the Vale of Glamorgan.
On 22 October 1969 Leo Abse, former MP for Pontypool achieved one of his most successful political accomplishments, the passing of the Divorce Reform Act. Forty years later, a bronze bust will be revealed in memory of the Welsh political and social reformer.
Artist Luke Shepherd’s sculpture of Leo Abse will be revealed at National Museum Cardiff during a private event on Thursday, 22 October 2009. The bust, funded by the Cardiff Solicitors firm Leo Abse and Cohen will then be put on display in one of the Museum’s art galleries for the public to enjoy.
Leo Abse has been described to have had a greater influence on the development of law relating to family matters than any other MP in the twentieth century. It is believed that his colourful personality and boundless energy, his contacts with the press and his close acquaintance with some Ministers were all of great importance to his huge successes in parliamentary affairs.
"Leo Abse sat for me in 1988 in my Cardiff studio," said Luke Shepherd, who’s actually Abse’s second cousin.
"The first attempt wasn’t a big success but it became clear there was little to commemorate Abse’s life. Therefore I made it my intention to create a further bronze that would keep the memory of his important political work strong in Wales, for the Welsh people!"
"Growing up I never took much interest in his political activities, despite him being my second cousin. My parents spoke very highly of him, but as a family we didn’t see that much of him."
"However, I was lucky to have had this link to enable me to produce this bust which represents one of Wales’ finest and most outspoken politicians and most effective Law Reformer in 20th century Britain."
Shepherd's bust of Abse exhibits the sculptor's ability to transcend materials, leaving the strength and personality of the sitter firmly embedded in the viewer's mind.
The donation of the bust to the Museum is sponsored by Abse’s solicitors firm Leo Abse and Cohen Solicitors, which still retains his name and is one of the largest in Wales. Robin Williams, Senior Partner at Leo Abse and Cohen Solicitors said:
"We are very proud to have this opportunity to contribute to the Museum’s fine collection and provide a permanent memorial to Leo."
The bust is Shepherd’s second work to be displayed at National Museum Cardiff. His first was commissioned by the Derek Williams Trust to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the association of the Museum with the Trust.
Oliver Fairclough, Former Keeper of Art, Amgueddfa Cymru, National Museum Wales commented:
"Amgueddfa Cymru collects images of Welsh people who have excelled in their chosen field, and holds several thousand portraits in a range of media. We are deeply grateful to Leo Abse and Cohen Solicitors for enabling us to acquire this exceptional likeness of one of the great social reformers of the 20th century."
Admission to National Museum Cardiff, where the bust will be displayed, is free thanks to the Welsh Assembly Government.
On visiting Sri Ramana Maharshi’s Ashram in Tiruvanamalai, Luke was invited to produce a bust of the famous Indian Sage. Luke was given access to many archive photographs and to take measurements from the 2 existing statues, one of which was done in Sri Ramana’s lifetime.
Luke is currently working on smaller (12cm) 3-D printed bronze castings of the Ramana bust.
Brilliant Portrait Artist was how the press described Luke Shepherd.
|2011||BBC Escape to the country|
|2005||International Journal of Surgeons|
|2004||British Medical Association News|
|2003||The Sunday Times Colour Supplement|
|2001||BBC Spotlight News Feature|
|2001||Carlton TV News Feature|