Maggi Hambling is a figurative painter, sculptor and printmaker whose strong identification with her subjects is expressed in bold handling and colour. She was appointed first Artist in Residence at the National Gallery.
In 1997 she was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to create a statue to commemorate Oscar Wilde. The commission resulted in an exhibition of related work at the National portrait Gallery and the unveiling of the sculpture in Adelaide Street, behind St. Martin's in the Field, Trafalgar Square. "A Conversation with Oscar Wilde" was unveiled by Chris Smith, Minister for the Arts in 1998.
Maggi Hambling's controversial sculpture Scallop, made as Aldeburgh's memorial to Benjamin Britten and set on an expanse of shingle shoreline in November 2003, is the first-year award winner of the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association by the Marsh Christian Trust. The prize was awarded to Maggi on 24 November 2005 at the Courtauld Institute. The sculpture carries a quotation from Britten's opera Peter Grimes: I hear those voices that will not be drowned.