Daughter of ‘legendary’ Nuneaton artist donates some of his works to Nuneaton Museum

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 26 December 2022

THE DAUGHTER of a legendary Nuneaton artist has gifted some of his artworks to the Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery.

Nuneaton Musem and Art Gallery (Image: Mason Moore)

Carolina Hall, daughter of Edward Hellwall, has handed some of his artworks over to the Riversley Park-based Museum and Art Gallery after his exhibition has come to a close.

The donated artworks include three of his sculptures – a wrought iron cockerel, a carved boy in wood, and a horse and jockey made from plastic-wood. She also donated two paintings and prospectuses for the Nuneaton School of Art for the years 1952 to 1966.

A Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council (NBBC) spokesperson stated that the Museum team “is delighted” that they were donated.

Edward Hellawell (1914 – 1983) was a student at the Royal College of Art in London in the 1930s, and 22 years later in 1952, he was appointed Head of the Nuneaton School of Art. He left the school just 14 years later in 1966.

Whilst he made changes to the curriculum and teaching at the school, his first large project helped him to lead the school in creating decorations for the coronation – both for the Town Hall and the surrounding streets.

He further led the school as it vacated its home from inside the Museum and Art Gallery building to its brand new home on CotonN Road.

During his career, Edward was a painter, sculptor, graphic designer, and teacher, who also ran a puppet theatre.

It is believed that he was perhaps most famous for a piece of public art that he was commissioned to make by Nuneaton Urban District Council in 1960, a statue which was called “The Wrestlers” which shown two nude males. “The Wrestlers” was created for a space in Bond Street to replace the Boer War memorial which was being moved to Riversley Park.

Almost immediately, residents complained about the sculpture, as it depicted nudity, and, at one point, it was discussed whether the wrestlers should wear shorts. It was eventually removed in 1970 after it was struck by vandalism and weather damage.

Visitors to the recent exhibition of Edward Hellawell’s work have issued many comments.

One said: “What a great talent Edward had. Excellently presented.”

Another added: “Well done – more please!”

A third said: “Nuneaton has always had such talented Art Lecturers to inspire the young.”

Edward’s sculptures join artworks by fellow Nuneaton School of Art teachers, Miles Sharp and Geoff Yeomans in the Museum collection.

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