Open main menu
Photo of the statue Women of Steel at barker's Pool, Sheffield
Women of Steel (2017), Barker's Pool, Sheffield

Martin Jennings is a British sculptor, born in 1957, who works in the figurative tradition, in bronze and stone.[1] His statue of John Betjeman at St Pancras railway station was unveiled in 2007[2] and the statue of Philip Larkin at Hull Paragon Interchange station was presented in 2010.

Early lifeEdit

Jennings was born in 1957. From 1976 to 1979 he was a student of English Literature and Language at the University of Oxford, after which he took a City & Guilds course in Lettering (1979-80). From 1980 to 1983 he was apprenticed to Richard Kindersley for architectural lettering[3].

Notable worksEdit

A bronze monument by Jennings commemorating the pioneer plastic surgeon Archibald McIndoe was unveiled on the High Street, East Grinstead, in June 2014. Jennings' own father, Michael Jennings, a tank commander badly injured near Eindhoven in 1944, was treated for burns by McIndoe's team during the war. The monument depicts a seated airman, his burned hands clawed together, his scarred face turned to one side: standing behind him, resting a reassuring hand on each shoulder, is the figure of McIndoe. They are encircled by a stone bench.[4]

In 2014 Jennings completed a bronze statue of Charles Dickens, which was unveiled in Guildhall Square in Portsmouth, the city of the author's birth.[5]

In June 2016 two statues by Jennings were installed. The first paid tribute to the women who worked in the armaments industry during the Second World War and was sited in front of Sheffield's City Hall. For Women of Steel Jennings was given the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association's 2017 Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture.[6][7] The second commemorated Crimean War nurse Mary Seacole and was sited in front of St Thomas' Hospital in London. Both of these were unveiled at a time when the paucity of monuments to women across the country was being publicly discussed.

In November 2017 Jennings' statue of George Orwell was unveiled outside Broadcasting House, headquarters of the BBC, in London.[8] This won Jennings a second Marsh award[7] – but also Private Eye's "Sir Hugh Casson Award" for 2017's ugliest new building [sic].[9]

Work in public collectionsEdit

The National Portrait Gallery in London has three portraits by Jennings; Edward Heath, Philip Pullman and Lord Bingham.[10]

Portraits of JenningsEdit

The National Portrait Gallery collection has a 2001 photographic portrait of Jennings by Norman McBeath.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

Jennings lives and works in Oxford. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Sculptors.[12]


  1. ^ "Martin Jennings". Royal Society of Sculptors.
  2. ^ Higgins, Charlotte; correspondent, arts (13 November 2007). "Betjeman's daughter unveils St Pancras tribute". Retrieved 3 June 2019 – via
  3. ^ Windsor, Alan (22 November 2017). "British Sculptors of the Twentieth Century". Routledge. Retrieved 3 June 2019 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ de Quetteville, Harry (30 May 2014). "The pioneering surgeon who healed men scarred by war, a new monument created in his honour – and the remarkable twist of fate that links them". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  5. ^ Ian Burrell (2014-02-05). "Charles Dickens ordered that there must never be a statue of him in Britain – but tomorrow one will be unveiled in Portsmouth – Features – Books". The Independent. Retrieved 2015-06-30.
  6. ^ Design, PixelFreezer. "Martin Jennings FRBS wins PMSA's Marsh Award 2017 | 3rd Dimension - The PMSA Magazine & Newsletter". Retrieved 2018-04-09.
  7. ^ a b "Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture". Marsh Christian Trust. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Orwell statue unveiled". About the BBC. 2017-11-07. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
  9. ^ "Piloti" (23 December 2017), "Nooks and Corners", Private Eye, no. 1460, p. 20
  10. ^ "Martin Jennings - National Portrait Gallery". Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  11. ^ "Martin Jennings - National Portrait Gallery". Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Biography". Retrieved 2015-06-30.

External linksEdit