Robert Mileham


The Peoples Prize for Ice Breaker (a child) at William Herschel Sculpture Competition in 2005

Highly Commended for Speck (a spaniel) at AFAS Mall Galleries Exhibition in 2006 by Kate Adie.

Sculpture Prize AFAS Mall Galleries 2008


Why do I sculpt? I simply love it. I just have to “recreate” life as I see it. I caught sculpture at a turning point in my life. It was infectious, demanding, selfish, totally compulsive, it has become my reason d’être. Sculpture is in our time and place. It exists; it is more than an image. You should engage with it, touch it and see it from all angles. It has the advantage of presence.

I was always good at drawing and as a child I got a lot of pleasure from making things from plasticine. After A level Art I was not encouraged to pursue it as a career but followed my father and brother into the army. This was followed by some time in business.

More than half my work takes the human form as its subject. I started sculpture in the traditional way, with life classes. Most of my grandfather’s work was based on the human form and his classical training must have had an influence on me from a very early age. I am mainly self-taught and I have grown to love the human body as a subject. The hands, feet and especially the face, are the most exciting to sculpt. For me, feet depict tension and sensuality; hands reveal age and beauty but a face can conceal and reveal life, spirit and personality.

Why spaniels? I love spaniels, they are quick witted, keen to please and are particularly active. I grew up with them. Springers tend to be more reliable and the cocker full of surprises. Aesthetically they are perhaps the most endearing of dogs. I enjoy sculpting other animals too but I will always come back to spaniels.

Much of my work is commissioned in bronze, a wonderfully versatile medium. Carved marble set the renaissance alight but bronze compliments it. Marble has translucence and radiance but bronze renders a greater spectrum of colour (Patina) and crispness for detail in any size or form. After many visits to the V&A, I have been attracted back to Terra Cotta. Demand for a portrait bust in Parian Ware has given me the incentive to reinvent this fantastic medium.

Historical Note

Robert’s grandfather was Harry R. Mileham F.R.S.A., winner of the Gold Medal and travelling Studentship at the Royal Academy Schools London 1895 under Fredric, Lord Leighton. Gilbert Holiday R.A., a well known equestrian artist, was a first cousin.

Robert's work is in private collections from New Zealand, Europe to Hong Kong. Robert was elected a full Member of the AFAS in November 2008. He works in the countryside, using an old tack room as a studio, surrounded by horses, dogs, cats and an abundance of wildlife.

He has a number of blogs. Dorset Sculpture is much visited from around the world.