Len Gifford

Len Gifford was born in London in 1945 and initially studied and practised civil and structural engineering and was responsible for designing a great many buildings and bridges.  However, in his mid thirties he decided to take a sabbatical from engineering and indulge full-time his fascination with sculpture and graduated with a BA (Hon) degree in Fine Art from Leicester University in 1983.

Three months later Len Gifford accepted the job of mannequin sculptor offered to him by Adel Rootstein who was the world’s leading mannequin manufacturer, and has worked part-time as a commercial sculptor modeling life-size figures in clay ever since.  The rest of the week he produces his own work in his studio in Milton Keynes Village where he lives with his wife and two children.

Len’s work is about movement and the human body. Through semi-realistic sculpture he tries to capture movements seen in dance, gymnastics, yoga and aerobics. He is much influenced by the soft rounded curves found in the female form and contemporary dance rather than the harder more erect poised forms found in the male form and traditional ballet.

He aims to capture a moment in time:  a seated girl rising, the maximum arch that a body can describe in a particular movement; a figure on the point of balance, move the figure a fraction of an inch and you lose the essence of that movement.  The figures are often supported on visual columns of air thus giving the impression of defying gravity. The more he studied these movements the more he realised how easily the human body is able to communicate ideas and mood through it's body shapes.




1983/Date Working part time as a commercial sculptor modeling life-size figures in clay.  The rest of the week I do my own work in my studio in Milton Keynes
1980/1983 Studied sculpture at Leicester
1975/1980 Structural Design for the new city of Milton Keynes
1972/1975 Designed bridges and viaducts for Dept. of Environment including the viaduct carrying the M2 over Dover Harbour  
1968/1972 Designed bridges for London Transport
1963/1968 Indentured Civil Engineering Student  



1979 Bletchley Art Group Exhibition
1981 Arts and Crafts Exhibition Stoneleigh
1983 Group Exhibition, Central Hotel, Leicester  
1987 Group Exhibition, Gallery-in-the-Garden
1988 Three Sculptors Plus…… MADCAP, Wolverton
1989 One man Exhibition, Dickins & Jones, Milton Keynes
1991 One man Exhibition, The Studio, Milton Keynes Village
1991 Group Exhibition, Malt House Gallery, Aylesbury  
1993 Face Fits Group Exhibition, Central Milton Keynes
1994/'95/'96 Midsummer Art Show, CBX Milton Keynes  
1984 Future World, Milton Keynes
1996 East London Open Group Show
1985/'90/'96 Art Show, Watford
1996 Dance World Wembley
1996 Art Aid Cornhill London
1997 Artifex Gallery 2 man Exhibition
1998/'99/'00/'01 The Art Gallery, Erotica Olympia
1999/'00/'01 Cheynies Manor Garden Exhibition  
1999/'00 Group Exhibition at John Bloxham Gallery London  
2000 Skin 2 Expo Wembley
2000 Defining the Times Exhibition MK Gallery


1970 HNC – Building Structures
1972 Qualified as a Chartered Structural Engineer
1983 Gained BA (Hons) in Fine Art