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`First time I've ever seen an upside down sculpture'.

Byline: Tony Pogson ,

My favourite sculptor Michael Disley is one of the hardiest people I know.

Michael, from Hepworth, works outdoors in all weathers at Marshalls' Appleton Quarry, off Penistone Road, not far from the Sovereign pub at the top end of Shepley.

It's a notably cold spot and I admit I shivered when I went to interview him there this February.

The old place was looking very different the other day with Michael in his sunglasses and his corner of the quarry giving, as he said, a passable imitation of an outdoor studio.

Michael's trademark chunky figures - usually delivered with a fair amount of humour - take a fairly long time to produce, so it is unusual for him to have quite such a large selection of work at the quarry at any one time.

Here there were items like "Big Catch" a fisherman; "Force 10", a woman with a flying dog; "yoga", a large woman in a flowery dress standing on her head; and carved seats in the shape of shells.

I must admit that the yoga woman caught my imagination - I don't think I've ever seen an upside-down sculptured figure before and, off the top of his head, Michael couldn't think of one either.

But then I had caught him by phone at a busy time, during the installation of one of his pieces at Widnes - a characteristically humorous work with a small, young rugby player looking over at a particularly macho adult specimen and asking if he can have his ball back.

At the moment his work seems more in demand than ever, with much of the work related to fishing down to a major commission for Hartlepool and the pieces with a health theme due for display at a Belfast hospital.

It's not hard to see why Michael is one of the UK's leading producers of sculptures for public works.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jul 12, 2005
Words:314
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