FIGURE BRONZES Many figures can be found on other pages of this website. It is difficult to catalogue figure sculptures because most of them are personal. I will try a timeline.
EARLY SCULPTURES: once I began having babies my interest in animals slipped down my priorities to never return (but not disappear).
The most precious thing a parent can give children is time, and that does not fit happily with the sort of commitment – obsession? – that any art needs. Productivity is thus limited.
Babies and children are a physical delight, designed to charm their parents into caring for them however they behave. Once naked cherubs adorned admired paintings and sculptures. Naked baby Christs sat on a glamorously dressed Madonna when the Church had the purchasing power. Now babies are artistic death. Worse, naked toddlers now bring fear and accusations of paedophilia. When my children were young they could run naked into the sea with no public disapproval. Sometimes I re-cast my sculptures with pants on their private parts. A few samples follow.
At this stage I thought maybe sculpture could be an earning possibility. I toyed with portraits, and did some small profiles of children which could be hung on a wall which were easy to cast and not without charm, but I soon discovered that one had to accommodate the vision of the person who wanted it done.
See below for an example.
In the 1970s I had a commission to design a medal for the Royal Mint (now extinct). It was for Women’s International Year.The person honoured was Dr Cecily Williams, then in her 80s, she had spent her life working with children abroad. She knew what her simple message was and refused to change it. We finally produced this.
The organisers sent my portrait of her to friends in Canada who hadn’t seen her since her 50s. They said it wasn’t like her. I asked for a photo of her at the time they knew her. I copied this as well as I could (this was in wax on a piece of circular glass 10 cm in diametre). They still didn’t like it. Meanwhile I had been reading a book about Marino Marini who described how he made portraits: – “and then I hand it over and they are never satisfied – tant pis!” (Artists with a famous name can get away with anything). I sent a reply saying how we had met many times and my portrait showed her great character etc and then quoted Marini. There were no more complaints. Sadly her message remains unheard.
FATHER AND SON bronze, 62 cm tall, edition 3. IAN READING ON A MILLSTONE bronze, 13×10 cm,edition 10. The next one is a small venus I’ve had fun casting in various media and installing on different places. the first one is in an oak collar the second cast in silver (ordered!). on a flint stone
These images come from a time I spent in South Darfur in Sudan in my early 50s on a VSO project. The first one A WOMAN FETCHING WATER bronze on cat’s paw oak, edition 10 (only one cast). Women give an impression of dignity and ease as they stride off with this burden but it is a huge strain. The second is STREET BOY bronze, edition 10, 15 cm tall. The third is SUDANESE MAN 11cm tall, bronze, edition 100 mounted on a variety of bases. More figures can be found on ARTIST’S CHOICE in the main bronze page.