EXPERIENCE paid dividends for Matt Walters in Stratford at the weekend.
Matt aka the ‘Mechanical Fracture’ was crowned the winner of the UK’s first National Living Statue Championship, which was held in the town’s Bancroft Gardens during the Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations weekend.
Matt, from Sussex, started life trying to make a living out of robotic dancing back in the 1980s after he found he was quite good at it.
But during a visit to Paris he came across his first human sculpture and decided that was the career for him – and he’s now been doing it for 35 years.
Combining humour with robotics, his working man character proved the pick of a talented bunch for the judges, and saw Matt take the title and the £5,000 first prize.
The junior title, and £50 prize, was won by 15-year-old Wouter as ‘Ye Olde Bench’, who had travelled from Holland with his 13-year-old sister Meike, who competed as ‘Mat had a Little Lamb’.
Competitors came from far and wide, including pain, Greece, Poland, the Ukraine, Australia, Ireland, and from across the UK.
Tadhg McGillicuddy, creative director of LSD Promotions who worked closely with Shakespeare’s Celebrations to organise the Championship, said: “We had 21 artists come from across the world to take part in this brand new championship.
“Not only did they have a great time, but it was fantastic to see the crowds come to Stratford to celebrate this talent and enjoy themselves too.”