Acclaim for sculptor putting art back in touch with reality

Sculptor Andrian Melka working on a bust of his partner Ruth in his studio
Sculptor Andrian Melka working on a bust of his partner Ruth in his studio
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A sculptor who has relocated from Albania to York and acquired Royal patronage is among the young artists in a new exhibition at a Harrogate gallery.

Andrian Melka came to Britain 20 years ago with a Getty scholarship, and moved York to work as head sculptor with the renowned carver Dick Reid on the Jubilee Fountain at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate.

He now has his own studio in the city, and numbers Prince Charles among his clients.

His work was spotted by Andrew Stewart, whose Harrogate gallery 108 Fine Art is exhibiting his work alongside two other artists of the British realist school.

Mr Stewart said he had been inspired to host the event after seeing an exhibition in Edinburgh of largely forgotten work by realist artists from the inter-war years.

He said: “British art today has probably become more populist than at any other time in history.

“Thankfully we seem to have passed through an age where skills and aesthetic qualities were deemed unworthy of any serious artist. Over the past few years there has been a refreshing surge in interest from young artists with a growing fascination in wanting to learn how to paint.”