NUNEATON sculptor Graham Ball has completed a labour of love.
He has repaired a work in a North Warwickshire church by the man who taught and inspired him.
The figure of Christ at Astley Church was created by John Letts, a man who died almost three years ago.
A finger on one of its hands had accidentally been snapped off.
“I was asked if I could do something with it and I was delighted to do it for John.” he said.
He studied under Letts at his studio at Astley: “John was my inspiration,” he said.
“I will also be indebted for what he did for me and I am proud to say that I was his longest standing pupil, but I don’t think people realise what he did for Nuneaton.”
Graham Ball, who is 40, is schools liaison officer for the Nuneaton Festival of Arts “John spent a lot of time in the schools helping and encouraging the children and he also left his fingerprint on the town,” he said.
“He could start with a lump of clay and finish up with a stunning sculpture. John was inspirational and acclaimed wherever he went.
“Even the Queen sat for him for the bust of her in the entrance to George Eliot Hospital.
“She sat for him three times at Buckingham Palace and recognised him when she came to officially open the hospital.
“He always said it was weird because he couldn’t speak to the Queen while he was working. He had to wait for her to speak to him.”
John Letts was also responsible for the statue of the novelist George Eliot which stands in Newdegate Square, There are also examples of his work in the chapel at the George Eliot Hospital.
“I was also privileged to work with him on the restoration of the statue of the Risen Christ in Coton Churchyard,” said Graham Ball.
“To be able to repair his statue of Christ in Astley Church also made me very proud.”
John Letts, who died in October 2010 at the age of 80, was born in Birmingham and studied at the city’s School of Art.
He worked for an insurance company before he turned his talents and his hobby into his job.
In 1978, he set up his studio in the old school building at Astley and quickly established himself.
His reputation spread and he ran the studio until the mid 1980s when he closed it and then worked from his home in Knowle.