Cobbold & Judd

Modern & Contemporary Art

Stephen Henderson


Stephen is an established wildlife sculptor, inspired by the wildlife of the Essex marshes where he lives.

Stephen grew up amongst intensely artistic surroundings, as the youngest of four children. He is the son of renowned photographer and pop- artist Nigel Henderson. His mother Judith was raised in and around the infamous Bloomsbury Group, as a niece of Virginia Woolf. The family moved to the East Essex coast in the 1950s, with Stephen being born shortly afterwards in 1956. Stephen’s teenage years were spent shooting and fishing on the marshes, where he developed a keen eye for the movements and habits of wildfowl and fish. Even today, the workshop and studio at his family home look out across those very same marshes, providing a constant source of inspiration.

Each sculpture is carved from cedar and pine. Stephen has developed his own painting techniques over time, combining washes of emulsion paints with stained and clear waxes. Together with delicate highlights of silver leaf, these help to create a subtle approximation of scales and feathers. In recent years he has progressed on to larger works, incorporating welded metal armatures and assorted salvaged metal from reclaimed hot water tanks and corrugated iron. Another recent development has been the introduction of fret-cut iron profiles, together with bleached driftwood. This results in a more natural weathered look, suitable for display both outside and in.

Stephen Henderson

“Growing up in South-East England on the Essex Marshes, I developed a love of wildlife in general and of birds and fish in particular. In my work I hope in some way to capture a gesture or attitude that will resonate with the viewer in the same way as it does for me. I try to represent my own emotional response to my subjects rather than pursuing correct anatomical detail.”