Artist makes history with Dickens sculpture

120233-6687 DICKENS SCULPTURE (NEWS) MRW 20/1/2012''Roger Holman (49) the multi-talented artist and sculptor from Havant has nearly finished a bust of Charles Dickens at the age of 31''Roger felt that too many pictures showed Dickens as an old man and feels that this portrays Dickens when he was in his prime ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (120233-6687)
120233-6687 DICKENS SCULPTURE (NEWS) MRW 20/1/2012''Roger Holman (49) the multi-talented artist and sculptor from Havant has nearly finished a bust of Charles Dickens at the age of 31''Roger felt that too many pictures showed Dickens as an old man and feels that this portrays Dickens when he was in his prime ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (120233-6687)

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ROGER Holman doesn’t consider himself to be an esteemed sculptor.

But the 49-year-old artist has proved he’s worthy to be called one with this impressive clay bust of Victorian novelist Charles Dickens.

Mr Holman, of Leigh Park, began making the sculpture, which depicts Portsmouth-born Dickens at the age of 31, last May.

He intended to have it finished in time for the anniversary of the writer’s 200th birthday but a lack of money set him back.

Now he is set to put the finishing touches to his masterpiece – and hopes he can persuade council officials to have it displayed inside Portsmouth Central Library.

Mr Holman, who has been an artist all his life, said: ‘I don’t really see myself as an esteemed sculptor.

‘I just try to make something to the best of my ability and that’s it.

‘I wanted to make a sculpture of Dickens because I felt that there weren’t many pictures, drawings or sculptures of him out there which truly depicted what he looked like.

‘A lot of his finest work was produced when he was young and without a beard.

‘Because of that I wanted to make a sculpture of him which fitted that persona.

‘It’s so important to preserve and highlight the history of this city. Dickens was an incredible figure. He has done so much for education.

‘I don’t think enough is done in honour of our past.

‘I’m currently in talks with the council about my sculpture being displayed in the library.’

Mr Holman, a part-time caretaker for Portsmouth High School, will cover his sculpture in silicone rubber this weekend before waiting for it to set. The sculpture will then be ready for display at the end of the month.

Mr Holman added: ‘There are lots of plays and films which have been made in honour of Dickens, so I want to make sure I do him justice.’

Mr Holman has also made other sculptures.

Six years ago he made a clay model of a World War One British soldier standing over a German soldier’s grave for Armistice Day. It was displayed at Portsmouth’s Guildhall Square and at The Salvation Army, in Southsea.