Guy Taplin (b.1939)
Guy Taplin was born in Whitechapel, London’s East End. His passion for birds started at an early age whilst exploring the hedgerows of Herefordshire as a child.
Following a difficult National service, he discovered Zen Buddhism in the 60s and worked in a variety of jobs eventually moving to Regent’s Park as a gardener. He was known in the early 70s as the Bird Man of Regents Park. It was in these years he started to carve wooden decoy like models of duck and geese. This lead to a more permanent move to the Essex coast eventually setting up a studio at Wivenhoe near Colchester.
In 1982, the first Taplin birds were cast in bronze at the Pangolin Foundry in Gloucestershire.
His studio now is at the head of four estuaries: Blackwater, Colne, Crouch and the Thames. He continues to forage the shorelines of Essex and beyond, transformed driftwood and other finds into engaging sculpture that Elizabeth Frink said: “are not static but full of movement and the spirit of the bird”.
Public collections include Tate Britain and the Royal Collection. Joanna Lumley, Jacqueline Onassis, Michael Palin and Ridley Scott are amongst numerous private collectors.
Taplin’s art is unique, it connects us to the wilderness and the freedom of birds.