The renowned sculptress and artist Bridget McCrum is celebrating her 80th birthday with a major selling exhibition opening next week at Messum’s, 8, Cork Street, London W1 (June 18-August 3). As the title, ‘Migration through time’, suggests, many pieces represent birds in flight, inspired by the gulls and birds of prey that circle and swoop over her sevenacre sculpture garden overlooking the Dart estuary in south Devon.

‘The landscape around my two homes has inevitably worked its way into my head,’ says Mrs McCrum, who also has a house on Gozo, near Malta. Collectors hold her in great affection, describing her work as having ‘a constancy of line’ and evoking ‘movement and flow’ and ‘tenderness’. Ann Elliot writes in the catalogue:

‘A subject may appear to be soft, although the profile would be as sharp as her sense of curve and rhythm-still her hallmarks-tell of form as well as the incongruity to be found in birds or beasts.’

Mrs McCrum was a naval wife and began working in stone when in her forties after her children had grown up. This is her fourth solo show at Messum’s, which represents her. ‘I often get requests from artists to look at their work and hers was probably the first to make me feel seriously uplifted,’ says gallery owner David Messum, who has known Mrs McCrum for about 25 years. ‘Her work is nicely subtle. Nothing she does ever looks heavy.’

Prices range from £2,450 for Migration over Gozo in charcoal to £68,500 for the 7ft 4in high bronze Knife Birds (020-7437 5545; www.messums.com).

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