Ant Beetlestone uses drawing, traditional craft skills and sheer hard work to make expressive art, inspired by the past but concerning the present.
He attended the Stafford College Figurative Sculpture course and the Frink School of Figurative Sculpture, and he went on to teach at both these and other art schools in Staffordshire and London. He turned his back on a career in the media to work in stone restoration on historic buildings, and he enjoyed success in the pre-recession public art bonanza.
Ant now lives in Stroud, Gloucestershire. It is 20 years since he first went to art school, and he is still learning.
The visual arts fascinated me from a young age. Every Saturday, I used to go to the library and sit on the floor and look through the art books. Malvern library benefitted from its proximity to the local art school and it had a fantastic collection. When I went to art school, I knew I needed to be practical, and sculpture felt the right mixture for me, being made of drawing, theory and messy, noisy practice. After seven years at art school, and a time spent teaching, I needed more industrial experience so I started working in stone restoration, making architectural and monumental carvings. This led to public art commissions and I still spend half my time making commissioned work, including large wood carvings and bespoke memorials. Between jobs I am able to pursue pet projects and I have been fortunate in being able to show the results of these in wonderful locations such as here at Newport House.