Portraits – Mr Philip Jackson


I headed down to the south of England with the thoughts of the EU referendum buzzing around my brain and the Rolling Stones buzzing around my ears and reached the studio of the sculptor Mr Philip Jackson just after mid-day.

Philip Jackson is a sculptor whose work most people in the UK will have seen, however they won’t necessarily be familiar with his name.

Mr Jackson created the statues of Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Matt Busby along with the United Trinity (Best, Charlton, Law) monument at Manchester United’s Old Trafford football ground.  He has created the statue of Bobby Moore at the entrance of Wembley Stadium, Mahatma Gandhi in Parliament Square and the Queen Elizabeth monument in Windsor Park to name a few. He also created the Liberation Sculpture in Jersey which I visited in 2013.

There can be no doubt about the talent and craftsmanship of this uniquely gifted sculptor and artist. To add to that I was to discover on meeting him that he is a lovely chap too.

Photographing him and chatting to him gave me a fascinating insight into the mind of an artist, his mind. He informed me that when he is working on a sculpture he never looks at it and thinks what’s right with it, but his instant thought is always what is wrong with it. He also told me that when his sculptures are completed and sent out to his client or the environment where it is to be placed,  he never revisits it because he has a tendency to pick fault with it.

He gave a fascinating account about his experiences with the sculptor Henry Moore and how he thought he was the most astute business man he’d ever met but also that he never witnessed him smile. To me these are lovely little nuggets of information that I take delight in knowing.


(further images can be viewed in the portrait section of my website)

Mr Jackson was very humble about his achievements and told me that his greatest feeling is when he has witnessed the outpouring of happiness and emotion from the family members of the person represented in the statue.

He touched on the subject of research and about how finding out as much as possible about the person he is going to recreate is very important. Not only does he need to know what they looked like during the stage of their life he is aiming to create, but emphasis is also placed on their characteristics and mannerisms.

Mr Jackson went on to explain how he was invited to Manchester United and that for 90 minutes he sat next to the dugout and just ‘observed’ Sir Alex Ferguson.

I took an instant liking to Mr Jackson, he was engaging, gentle, polite and interesting. It is always nice when successful and respected people seem throughly deserving of their success and in my opinion Mr Jackson certainly is.

Of paramount importance to me is the photographic process of capturing a portrait of the individual, but an added bonus is when I get a feeling, a buzz, it’s when the creative juices are cooking within…… It’s a feeling I get when I chat with interesting people who for a short period of time let me into their world and fill me with inspiration….

Paul Crowther

20th June 2016

P.S – Remain (if you were wondering……)