Bringing stone to life.

Chris Gornall at work.
Chris Gornall at work.

You get to know an amazing bunch of characters in the changing rooms of your gym.

Amongst them – in my case – is a very modest and gentle man who – though retired – is bursting with artistic – as well as physical – energy.

Chris Gornall spent time in Africa during an earlier career with the Overseas Civil Service – that’s after he came out of the Royal Marines.

Some examples of Chris Gornall sculpture
Some examples of Chris Gornall sculpture

It seems the people and rural landscapes of the remote parts of Tanzania (then Tanganyika) that he worked in, had a profound and exhilarating effect on him.

He came back to the UK to study medicine and spent 20 years as a busy family doctor in Wiltshire. Chris discovered sculpture soon after retirement in the 1990’s.

As a doctor he’d found time to enjoy life-drawing classes and figure sketches and focussed on portrait sculpture – having work accepted by the Society of Portrait Sculptors.

Looking for a freer means of expression he was attracted to stone and it’s with this material that his love of Africa, the human form and the work of other artists whom he admired have combined to produce some amazing pieces.

Chris in his studio.
Chris in his studio. Click on image to enlarge.

His sculptures are mostly carved in limestone, polyphant and alabaster. He often works without preliminary drawings, in the tradition of direct free carving.

Chris is showing an exhibition of his sculpture at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution in Queens Square alongside a collection of watercolours and paintings – ranging from Victorian to contemporary – organised by John Robbins Fine Art –

The exhibition is open from the 10th to the 17th of October – from 10 am to 4pm but closed on Sunday. Find out more about Chris and his work via