Sunil Vilas interviews Teresa Wells

Sunil Vilas global interviews 


An exclusive interview with the esteemed British figurative sculptor Teresa Wells MRSS, hosted by renowned International Art Dealer Sunil Vilas. Teresa’s journey in art is a fascinating narrative of passion, resilience, and boundless creativity. Inspired by the complexities of human emotion and the intricate nuances of form, Teresa’s sculptures profoundly reflect the human experience. With each piece, she masterfully captures the essence of vulnerability, strength, and resilience, inviting viewers into a world where art becomes a language of profound connection.

Teresa’s artistic odyssey is deeply rooted in her experiences and observations of the world around her. From the serene beauty of nature to the complexities of human relationships, her work delves into the depths of the human psyche, offering a glimpse into the shared experiences that define us all. Through the tactile medium of bronze, Teresa breathes life into her creations, infusing them with raw emotion and timeless beauty.

In this exclusive interview, Teresa will share the inspirations behind her evocative sculptures, offering insights into her creative process and the stories that drive her work. Join us as we delve into the world of Teresa Wells MRSS, where art becomes a powerful vessel for storytelling, empathy, and profound connection.

Sunil Q1. – Teresa, your sculptures are known for their ability to convey deep human emotions and experiences. Can you share the personal inspirations and experiences that have driven you to explore these themes in your work?

Teresa Wells portrait 

Teresa A: “Sunil, I am Inspired by a moral upbringing, the eldest of 6 Catholic parents. I possess an ethical consciousness and a fascination for the question, “How do Humans Behave?” My father was a progressive advocate of female independence and equal rights. He instructed his five daughters to use the tools and materials in his workshop. I developed a close bond with him intellectually and through the art of craft. He passed away prematurely and without warning three days after my 15th birthday. This event had a profound impact on me and my younger siblings, as we questioned our ability to survive. It was a moment of immense insecurity.”

Sunil: – Teresa, your insights into your creative journey and artistic philosophy are truly inspiring. Your upbringing and the influence of your father’s progressive ideals have undoubtedly shaped the ethical consciousness and curiosity that shine through in your work. Your connection with your father and the profound impact of his passing at such a young age are powerful experiences that add depth to your artistic expression.

Sunil Q2.  –  Bronze sculpture is your chosen medium for artistic expression. What draws you to this tactile material, and how does it enhance your ability to convey the complexities of the human form and emotion?

Reflection bronze sculpture


Title: REFLECTION Bronze sculpture

Teresa A: Bronze is my current mode of artistic expression. Originally trained as an illustrator with a keen eye for detail and technical prowess, I developed a curiosity in material properties. Which led to sculpture. Bronze enables me to immortalise the marks I make with clay. As a material, clay permits a cathartic approach with the flexibility to convey an emotional intensity through gestural mark-making. I apply clay to an armature directly without using tools, preferring the resulting and imperfect surface to convey human flesh, creating a more visceral subject matter experience.”

Sunil: The way you describe your transition from illustration to sculpture, particularly your choice of bronze as a medium, showcases your keen eye for detail and your ability to convey emotional intensity through your work. Your preference for applying clay directly to an armature without tools to create an imperfect surface that mirrors human flesh is a fascinating approach.

Sunil Q3.  –  Many of your sculptures tell captivating stories. Can you walk us through your creative process, from the initial concept or inspiration to the final creation of a sculpture?


Teresa A: Certainly, Sunil, My creative process never really begins. It is a continuous journey of questioning surrounding human actions and thoughts derived from direct observation and experience. Stories are told through news reportage, the internet, social media content, radio, history, museums, cultural practice, etc.; everyone has a tale to tell of survival, even if it is just getting out of bed in the morning to work! Some stories are more impactful than others, inspiration is ignited, and a concept emerges. Roughly sketching this on paper, I use a small notepad that I carry everywhere; it captures thoughts and drawings from life studies. I also collect images from a variety of sources. If the story is still ruminating with me several weeks later, I look at developing the idea through a progression of drawings and small, roughly executed maquettes. Larger scaled drawings ensue, which are mainly technical, as I develop the final form and armature for the clay. As I work methodically, there are times when the work changes in construction (unless it is a commission). I allow this to happen, comparing it to a conversation that changes your opinion in a discussion.”

Reflection study drawing

Title: REFLECTION study drawing


Sunil:  – Your description of your creative process, from inspiration from everyday experiences to the evolution of your ideas through sketches, maquettes, and larger drawings, provides a wonderful glimpse into your artistic world. The interplay between impactful stories’ impact and concepts’ development over time is a testament to your dedication to storytelling through your art.


Sunil Q4.  – Your work delves into the essence of the human spirit. How do you approach capturing such intangible qualities in a tangible art form, and what challenges and rewards does this process present?


Teresa A: “I believe the human spirit is embodied as a conflict between feelings of insecurity, fragility, fear and creativity, strength, and capability. My pieces are inspired by the movements of dancers and athletes who need to remain physically and emotionally strong to compete and perform. Their physiques represent the essence of strength and tenacity. My sculptures capture these intangible qualities through expressive body language and facial expressions. They are placed in precarious positions; they hover, balance, and tipple forwards, yet the musculature of the forms is evidenced in the naked figures to convey strength yet vulnerability. The challenge is often technical to convince the audience that the bronze is weightless, yet the whole sculpture is physically safe. This often creates problems at the design stage, as the bases with the sculpt require attention to where the centre of balance is. The reward is when the whole sculpture is complete, and the final work is how I imagined it.”

Wishes awakened sculpture


Title: WISHES AWAKENED Bronze sculpture


Sunil: – Teresa, Your exploration of the human spirit is profound, capturing the conflicting existence of emotions like insecurity, fragility, and strength. Your ability to convey these intangible qualities through expressive body language and facial expressions is a testament to your artistic skill and vision. The technical challenges of making bronze appear weightless while ensuring the sculptures are physically safe add a layer of complexity to your work that only enhances its impact.

Sunil Q5.  – Collaboration with galleries and exhibitions is a significant aspect of an artist’s career. Can you share some memorable experiences or exhibitions that have shaped your artistic journey?

Teresa A: One of the most memorable experiences has been winning Best in Show at Creekside APT Gallery in 2015. Nominated and awarded by Richard Deacon CBE. However, there have been other key experiences, namely the commission of ‘Arthur’, which secured a Silver Gilt award at The Chelsea Flower Show in 2022.  ’Narcissus’ won an international sculpture award and sits in the public collection of ‘The Robert T Webb Sculpture Garden’ in Georgia, USA.  I was awarded membership of The Royal Society of Sculptors in London in 2009 and featured in both the ‘I Weekend” newspaper (I Spirit) (mentioned alongside Barbara Hepworth and Banksy), I also appeared in The Times Newspaper for ‘Arthur’ at Chelsea and have appeared on both national and local TV.”

Sunil: It’s evident that your career has been marked by significant achievements, from winning “Best in Show” to your international sculpture award and recognition by The Royal Society of Sculptors. Your journey through various media and scales, from large-scale abstract sculptures to more intimate figurative work, highlights your versatility and commitment to exploring the complexities of human existence.

Title: WISHES AWAKENED image 2


Sunil Q6. – Your sculptures often bridge the gap between realism and abstraction. How do you strike a balance between these two elements in your creative process, and what effect does this have on the viewer’s interpretation of your work?


Teresa A:  I have worked on large-scale abstract sculptures four meters high and at a more intimate scale of 30 cm figuratively using mixed media. My early sculptures were constructed from mild steel, using a variety of ready-made fixings such as nuts, bolts, and silk ribbon, wrapping, tying and fixing; the materials were used metaphorically as I made vessels. These expressions of the body conveyed the relationship between our inner and outer selves, strength and fragility, the hidden and vulnerable. The fluidity of forms expressed through bronze represents the fluidity of the human state and experience, whilst the abstract solid forms of the bases represent solidity. I combine the cultural metaphors of colour and form with an understanding of body language and facial expression.

Sunil: Your approach to bridging the gap between realism and abstraction, using colour, form, and body language to convey the fluidity of human experiences, is both thought-provoking and visually captivating. The way you connect the abstract solid forms of the bases with the figurative bronze forms is a testament to your ability to communicate deep concepts through your sculptures.

Atlas ascendant original drawing


Title: ATLAS ASCENDANT Study drawing



Sunil Q7.  – The human figure is a recurring theme in your art. Could you delve into the significance of the human form in your sculptures and how it contributes to the narratives you create?

Teresa A: The fascination with contradictory human behaviour emerged from learning about cultural practices and studies by anthropologists such as Nigel Barley (Smashing Pots), Mary Douglas (Purity and Danger) and the zoologist Desmond Morris (Man Watching).

 These expressions of the body conveyed the relationship between our inner and outer selves, strength and fragility, the hidden and vulnerable.  My fascination lies with imperfection. to translate how our flaws are as beautiful as our successes. I wanted to convey this in a way that had direct interpretation through the figurative form, yet I also loved abstraction in its ability to create intrigue.

During my master’s degree, I began a period of research in Birmingham, which explored how public art engaged its audience. From direct observation, it became clear to me that the figurative style more easily engaged members of the public, 

Sunil: – The recurring theme of the human figure in your art, driven by your fascination with human behaviour and cultural practices, is beautifully expressed. Your desire to convey imperfection as a form of beauty and to engage the public through figurative style is a powerful reflection of the human experience.

Sunil Q8. – As a distinguished British figurative sculptor, what message or emotions do you hope viewers take away from your work, and what impact do you aspire to have on the world of art?

Teresa Wells sculpting the Human experience





Teresa A: My viewers each bring their own experiences to the work, so often, my message is interpreted differently. I love hearing these interpretations as another story is told, another set of life experiences. I have had members of the public in tears upon encountering some of my pieces (Loss) and (The Rosary). A shared experience passes between the viewer and the artwork.

I would like to be remembered for capturing the essence of humanity in our current time. With technology’s advancement and continued interaction in a global marketplace, I strongly believe there is disconnection and isolation in communication behaviour and a lack of empathy.  My pieces want to tell the story of shared experience and survival tactics when faced with adversity. Essentially, they are to be more empathic and sensitive towards one another.

Sunil: – Your desire to capture the essence of humanity in our current time and inspire empathy and sensitivity in viewers is a noble aspiration. Your willingness to let viewers interpret your work in their own unique ways and the emotional impact it has on them underscore the power of art to connect people on a profound level.


Eternal beauty back view Eternal beauty 2020


Title: ETERNAL BEAUTY Bronze sculpture


Sunil Q9. – For emerging sculptors seeking to explore the depths of human emotion in their work, what advice or insights would you offer to help them on their artistic journey?




Atlas ascendant bronze sculpture




Teresa A: “The best advice I can give is to be authentic to yourself and generate work you are proud of. I dip into what other artists are doing, but it can overinfluence, so I step out often; it helps me to focus. I am inspired by the Baroque and Bernini drama, dynamism, movement, tension, emotional exuberance, and a tendency to blur distinctions between the various arts, and this style has allowed a once shy and insecure young woman to have a voice.”


Sunil: – For emerging sculptors, your advice to be authentic, stay focused, and draw inspiration from various sources while maintaining a sense of self is invaluable. Your journey from shyness to finding your voice through art is an encouraging testament to the transformative power of creativity.



Title: ATLAS ASCENDANT Bronze sculpture


Sunil Q10. – Looking ahead, what themes or projects are you excited to explore in your future sculptural endeavours, and how do you envision your art evolving in the years to come?


Teresa A: “I am intrigued by technological advancement, robotics, and the development of medical apparatus, procedures, and medication. Science fact and science fiction fascinate as they interrelate, presenting a dystopian, insecure vision of future humanity on a planet that is being depleted of natural resources, with overpopulation of humanity posing a huge risk to the existence of other species, yet the ingenuity and capabilities of humanity to create and look for solutions to survival compelling.”



Sunil:  – Finally, Teresa, your future exploration of themes related to technological advancement, survival, and the impact of human ingenuity on the planet and other species promises to be thought-provoking and socially relevant. We look forward to witnessing the evolution of your art in the years to come.

Thank you for sharing your insights and remarkable artistic journey with us, Teresa. Your work continues to inspire and resonate deeply with art enthusiasts worldwide.





TERESA WELLS COLLECTION is available to view at our COLOUR OF LIFE 2024 exhibition

DOWNLOAD or READ MORE Click to View Teresa Wells in the COLOUR OF LIFE 2024 Collection

Colour of Life 2024 exhibition

All rights reserved. No part of this exclusive interview may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted without prior written permission.

For inquiries, please contact. Copyright © 2024