Spring Board Divers

13Ft Sommersaultersherwooddivers

Springboard diving is often considered a sport and an art form, combining physical athleticism and technical precision with artistic expression and creativity.

Regarding the sport aspect, springboard diving requires athletes to possess exceptional strength, balance, flexibility, coordination, and the ability to execute complex manoeuvres with speed and precision. Divers must perform a series of acrobatic flips, twists, and turns while maintaining perfect form and control throughout the entire routine.

At the same time, springboard diving also involves much artistry and expression. Divers must use their body position, facial expressions, and choreography to convey a sense of grace, fluidity, and emotion to the judges and the audience. They must also incorporate creative elements and variations into their routine to showcase their style and personality.

Springboard diving is a unique and challenging sport requiring physical and artistic abilities.

” One of my favourite subjects to try to resolve as the sculpture is that of springboard and high board diving. My inspiration was the sport I loved & perfected when young, through which I met my wife, a diver. The problems posed by divers are expressing movement, grace, athleticism and style in conveying the sensation of flight. One of the most exciting aspects of diving is those rare moments when you feel no pull of gravity and are flying. 

I have been playing with a bundle of problems for many years, and I made my first attempt in the 1960s when living and working as a member of the Digswell Arts Trust in Hertfordshire. After about two or three years of trying different devices to help create the illusion of flight, I realized that the old diving manuals we used to learn the formation and performance of complex diving movements were also the key to my sculptures. 

My divers, therefore, do not seek to create an easy path to imparting the sensation of movement by, for instance, being off-balance and seeming to intimidate the viewer. I have set myself rules prompted by my studies of the morays of traditional sculptural, which, to some degree, are also embodied in the manual diving diagrams. Therefore, the forms of sculpture in which balance and the disposition of structure and weight about a stable centre, contained within its base area, provide the best framework. 

The task is to show a continuous state of moving from one position to another so that even a figure expressing stillness alludes to the sequence of movements and those to come. The objective is not to freeze action but to encapsulate enough of its typical sequences of movements. 

Always paying attention to the physical personality of the kind of athlete shown, remembering that bodies develop according to exercise and environment. Good knowledge of working anatomy enables me to take liberties, and using a specific individual sometimes helps depict a particular idiosyncratic movement. 

The objective, after all, is to make a sculpture an equivalent to, not a duplicate of, the living person. In recent diving sculptures, I have found many solutions that please me. One particular case is the piece I made for a private swimming pool where I made a six-foot-high bronze of a male and female diver – SHERWOOD DIVERS, shown in the position for headfirst entries and placed in the water with the hands just touching the surface. My springboard divers give a feeling of weightlessness to the heavy bronze and create perfect reflections and depth of colour “. JOHN W. MILLS


Cross arm diver bronze 

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My Sculptures have allowed me to meet members of The Royal Family, which has always been an exciting and enjoyable experience.


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