Joseph Stokes

2021 QEST Pilgrim Trust Scholar - Sculpture & Stonemasonry
West Midlands

Joseph is an experienced stone carver and sculptor. He gained a BA in Fine Art Sculpture at Wolverhampton University, followed by an MA in Fine Art Sculpture at the City & Guilds of London Art School; concluding with a Post Graduate Higher Diploma in Architectural Stone Carving also at the City & Guilds of London Art School. Joseph has worked as an assistant to professional stone carver Corin Johnson, amongst others, as well as carrying out private sculpture commissions, with clients choosing Joseph for his sensitivity to line, form and detail. To date, his practice has focused on the human figure/portraiture as well as directly carved organic forms. He has also taken part in international artist residencies and exhibited work in Greece, Norway and Britain.   

In 2019, Joseph worked on an architectural carving at Stavanger Cathedral in Norway. He said it was, “A magical experience being able to work on such an old building, Romanesque/Gothic (1150), knowing that my work would be on the building for future visitors to appreciate—it was a privilege”. Inspired by this experience would like to develop his practice to incorporate more conservation work. A QEST Scholarship will fund Joseph in two courses at Bath College where he will study the foundations of stonemasonry, which he has not had the chance to master due to coming into stone carving through the sculpture route. By having a solid grounding of experience in stonemasonry to add to his skill set, he can become a more versatile craftsman, enabling him to carry out every process required in stone conservation carving, from simple geometric blocking out, to more complex decoration.  

I wish to gain full mastery of my craft, so that no technique or process is a mystery to me. This will give me the freedom, fluidity and know how to positively affect the environment with my work, be it in architecture or a gallery.