The Loughborough University campus is home to five of his large-scale steel sculptures, with the most recent, Trans, arriving only a few months ago.
These five sculptures were made by Paul Wager in the 1990s, and are inspired by the forms, processes, materials and labour struggles related to the heavy industries of North-East England, a place where Paul spent his childhood.
He enjoyed a long and distinguished career as not only a sculptor, but a painter and a teacher too, and is remembered to those who knew him as a generous man of good humour.
Paul previously taught sculpture at the University in the 1990s in what was then the School of Art and Design. Prior to that, he worked as an assistant to Lynn Chadwick, of whom also has a sculpture on campus – the renowned The Watchers.
Director of LU Arts Nick Slater said: “I was very sad to learn of the untimely death of Paul Wager. Paul was not only a fantastic sculptor but also a very nice man, who would ring me up each year and gently remind me that the works that are familiar to us around the campus would require their annual coat of black wax oil.
“Loughborough was very close to his heart and we are lucky to be able to enjoy some of his key sculptural works on our campus.”
Peter Beacham, Technical Tutor in 3D Sculpture added: “I knew Paul as both a work colleague and a friend for a number of years before the University took over the College of Art. He was an incredibly dedicated and skilled artist specialising in amongst other things, bronze casting and large-scale metal fabrication.
“He was well liked both by other staff in the Fine Art department and also by the students he taught. He had a dry sense of humour and great drive and will be missed by all who knew him during his time at Loughborough.”
The LU Arts team plan to hold an exhibition on campus dedicated to the work of Paul Wager later in the year in his memory.