Mandy Long is a figurative sculptor who lives and works in Leeds. A schoolteacher originally from the West Country, it wasn’t until she moved north to Yorkshire that she was able to pursue her passion for working in clay.
Trained in ceramics at Harrogate College, where she came across her inspirational tutor David Oxley, Mandy has gone on to produce celebrated work that has graced galleries and exhibits nationwide.
The majority of her work is centred around the world of sport, and Mandy says it was a personal connection that first opened her eyes to the potential for sport to inspire art.
"Both my sons were keen young footballers, and still are, and it is really through them that my love of 'the beautiful game' came to the fore. The passion and energy, the athletic grace and wide spectrum of emotions provided the inspiration for my sculptures.”
Mandy has gone on to develop this art meets sport forte, and has more recently created work based on rugby league. She has worked closely with the Leeds Rhinos for several years, and had an exhibition at the Town Hall running alongside the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
Leeds City Council has also purchased one of Mandy’s sculptures, which celebrates the city’s proud rugby heritage and is on permanent display in the Civic Hall.
Mandy also has longstanding links with the celebrated Leeds-based company Phoenix Dance. Many of her collection of dance sculptures were inspired by the electric and ground-breaking productions Phoenix have become renowned for.
“There are so many crossovers between the elegance, rigour and dynamism of rugby, football and dance and I just hope to convey some of this in my work”
"She creates figures that celebrate the dynamics of movement and the physicality in sport. I love Mandy's work."
Carole Campbell-Carey, North Leeds Life
"The sculptor Mandy Long is a real hidden gem and we need to get her work out there more.
She has come into rehearsals and watched our dancers and created a really exciting piece of sculpture for us. "
Sharon Watson Artistic Director, Phoenix Dance Theatre, Leeds
"I was very impressed with Mandy's work on a rugby theme and now a have a piece myself."
Keith Senior, Leeds Rugby Foundation and rugby league legend