Sculptor of birds, born in London’s East End, who became “impassioned” by them when his family moved to Hereford in World War II. Returning to London, Taplin’s jobs included Post Office messenger, postman, ladies’ hairdresser, meat porter, lifeguard, National Service in Cyprus, then fashion, in which he was quite successful. Taplin began carving woodland birds, based on American decoys, when working in Regent’s Park as a labourer and gardener. Under pressure he was persuaded to sell some, was featured at the Portland Gallery, in Crafts and other magazines and on television and began to sculpt professionally. Taplin worked on the beach in Essex, using driftwood. His later solo shows included The Gallery in Cork Street and London Zoo, both 1999, organised by Csáky Art, Sonning, and in 2002 and 2004 Courcoux Contemporary Art Ltd, Stockbridge.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)

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