Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Madonna of the Hedgerow

This is still one of my favourite sculptures of all time. Of my own of course - there are many other fabulous sculptures by some of my favourite sculptors like Michelangelo, Rodin or Ron Muek for instance.

My madonna was inspired by nature as usual. Although she is based on the human figure I have taken the liberty of distorting her body into an impossible contortion. Things are not real and not what they appear to be. Her toes twist into briars which in turn twist back into her arms.

She was made at a time in my life when i was very vulnerable and very twisted into knots. Very vulnerable because I was so twisted up. She has a very soft and tender underbelly and is, in a very awkward way, trying to protect herself. The skin on her back is a lot tougher and she has a strong backbone. I made her back curved to complete the circle.

A circle is a very strong shape - so perhaps in the end she will not fare too badly even though she is a bit screwed up at the present time.

The thorns of course give great protection - naturally, but that does not need explanation.

This sculpture also finds a source in fairytales - knights and dragons and princesses in towers.

I made the figure from clay, which fired to a nice sort of pale buff colour and then when it was fired I stained it with watercolours, which was a wonderful way to give layers of colours. I enhanced the pinks in the clay to create the vulnerability of the figure. There are some lovely sap greens in there as well but they don't show up in this photo unfortunately so you will have to take my word for that.

The thorns are cast in bronze and add that extra edge to the fighting spirit of the piece.

Of course i managed to get through that difficult patch in my life - I am here right now, am I not? And a better and stronger person because of some of those hardships. There is nothing more forming in life than to go through some adversity. But boy! Did it hurt at the time!

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