Artwork by Roy Leadbeater,  Untitled
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Cowley Abbott
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Ph. 1(416)479-9703

Roy Leadbeater

signed, numbered 1/7 and inscribed “MS” (incised)
12.5 x 6 x 9 ins ( 31.8 x 15.2 x 22.9 cms ) ( overall (excluding base) )

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Private Collection, Montreal

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Roy Leadbeater
(1928 - 2017)

Born in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England, his father was an artist (painter). When Roy was eight he lost both his parents and was brought up in an orphanage. He then worked in a pottery until he was fifteen when he became an apprentice engineer. In 1943 he entered the British Merchant Marine where he ultimately served as a Marine Engineer (1945-46). He then spent fifteen months in the Middle East (1946-48) on the Palestine Police Force and was attached to Government House where he transmitted secret documents. He returned to sea for two years (1950-2) and for a while lived in Australia and New Zealand. Subsequently he studied mechanical engineering in England and attended night classes in drawing at the Birmingham School of Art.

He came to Canada in 1953 with his wife and settled in Edmonton, Alberta, and worked for a short period with the Provincial Government before going into the Oil and Gas Industry as a Power Engineer. He attended the University of Alberta, part-time, where he studied drawing under Professor Glyde. He moved to Calgary where he was hired in the Engineering Department of the Royal Globe Insurance Group while he spent every available moment at the Calgary Allied Arts Centre working on sculpture. At first he worked in wood but when a fellow sculpture student noticed his work he offered Leadbeater the opportunity of working in steel. The student turned out to be William Garrick, General Manager of Dominion Bridge, who was looking for ways to demonstrate the uses of steel. After meeting and seeing Leadbeater’s sculpture he made an arrangement for Leadbeater to work in his plant with an adequate stock of materials, welding equipment, supplied by Dominion Bridge. Leadbeater set to work in his new surroundings producing among other works, a ten foot diameter moon for the Calgary Planetarium (steel shows the cold lifelessness of the moon); Celestial Flower for the Genvieve Yates Memorial Centre (Lethbridge); polished steel sculpture for the Civic Centennial Library (Edmonton); a huge mobile machine sculpture for the Four Western Provinces Pavilion at Expo ’67 and other projects.

He received many important commissions and exhibited across Canada. He lived in Calgary, Alberta where he exhibited his work at the Canadian Art Galleries.

Source: "A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume II”, compiled by Colin S. MacDonald, Canadian Paperbacks Publishing Ltd, Ottawa, 1979