Glasgow - City of Sculpture
By Gary Nisbet
Jake Kempsell
(b. 1940)

A Scottish sculptor and teacher, he was born in Dumfries and educated at ECA , where he graduated with a postgraduate diploma in 1965.

He had his first solo show at the Richard Demarco Gallery, Edinburgh, in 1970, and was represented at the British Art Show in 1979-80. Since then he has exhibited widely in Scotland, England and Wales and undertaken numerous public commissions.

He was a founder member of the Scottish Sculpture Trust and a director of Workshops and Artist's Studio Provision Scotland (WASPS) until 1983.

In 1982, he was invited to join the Faculty of Sculpture at the British School in Rome, and was Faculty Visitor there in 1985. He was Director of Sculpture at Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, from 1975-2000.

His public work in Glasgow is represented by Symbolic Relief, which is located above the reception desk of the Sheriff Court, 1 Carlton Place (1985-6).

Carved in Hopton Wood limestone, the relief is based on the legend of St Kentigern (or Mungo), Glasgow's patron saint, and combines scenes from his life with more general references to Scottish culture and history.


  • Information provided by the artist;
  • Jake Kempsell, Voids and Constellations, Dundee, 1997 (exhibition catalogue);
  • McKenzie (2002) , p. 49 (ill.);
  • Williamson et al, p. 510;
Works in our Database:
1: Carlton Place (Gorbals),
Sheriff Court of Glasgow and Strathkelvin, 1 Carlton Place
Symbolic Relief (Legend of St Kentigern) (1985-6)
Sculptor: J Kempsell; Architects: Keppie Henderson & Partners
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