A third version of “ Mother and Child”, though it could equally represent a “Man and Woman”, with the woman, on the right being slightly larger .
The right head pulls away from the left, as she is half-heartedly trying to disentangle herself - an impossibity in the static medium of sculpture!
With the child/man on the left, I thought of a human bird chick that greedily demands food of its mother - pecking, kissing, feeding.
The space between the two is cramped. Within their shared closeness it shows both need and dependency on the one hand, but equally the longing to find freedom from the responsibility of care .
Patricia Preece in Art Space 32/p25:
"This work shows two faces locked together in the most intimate way but their gaze is strangely distant. The strength of the work is the tension that exists between the two heads which are bound together. The mother figure angles her cheekto her child in a responsive manner but faces away with her eyes fixed to the hoizon.
At the same time the child figure nuzzles the mother, but its kiss is a pout thattells usthat is knows that the time for nurturing is over. The nurturer and the nurtured are also the rejecter and the rejected - to encapsulate this using such economay of means is an amazin feat.
It is this that makes the figure truly modern. I love you, says the big head, but its time you moved on - me and your dad have got things we want to do."
Since four years I hold an annual Open Studio event "Weekend of Art" , together with students from my sculpture courses, and professional painters and sculptors, sometimes as part of Northamptonshire Open Studios
In the background "Sun and Moon" 2003 68 x 35 x 50cm Bronze Resin
Studio garden, photograph@ Julian Parfitt
I use sleek, elegant lines, especially visible from the profile to describe speed, ambition and confidence - and masculinity. The head originally was heavily indebted to archaic Greek faces - with no features but the nose. Formally, what attracted me was how to unite the three dominant shapes: the “root stock” /chest/bulb at the bottom, the tubular shape of the neck in the middle, and the flat face, with the dome shape of the top head
This woman embodies strength, and is well rooted to the ground - she feels none of the female vieces, like self-doubt, fear, guilt or hesitancy.She does not folow the most recent slimness ideal, or adherre to a diet, and does not torture herslef with selfconsiousness.She faces herself and the world head on, yey she is neither dynamic, or aggressive - she rests in herself.
Based on images of European Mother Goddesses, this figure is so abstracted she nearly becomes an emblem, or a symbol - of strength, pro-creation, and the nurturing body from which incessant forms of life emerge.
Parts of the body inessential for procreation have been made smaller, of even left away altogether: the head, the feet, the arms and hands.Yet the middle area of the body - the womb, the hips, the stomach are increased in size and importance.
Fecundity both literally, but also as a symbol for a non-physical form of creativity - the middle of the body as the seat of instincts and feelings, which germinate into original and innovative ideas
Sculpturally, I was interested in contrast -
of small and large size (head and hips) and of volume and roundness versus flatness or pointedness.
In the foreground: "Abstract Wave 1" 2005 37 x 47 x 34cm Bronze Resin
Originally , this was one of three “Pregnancy pots”, conceived as a vessel/container
.The sculpture emerged from the idea of emulating the sensation of being pregnant - very full, close to bursting, with skin streched tight. I used strong distortion, doing away with the hips and legs, the base of the form transforming into a flower with the tighs as tautly three-dimensional petals
Originally carved from stone, she embodies the compact, compressed attributes of that material:strength, steadfastness and endurance. Her neck is squashed, and her head hardly rises out of the body; her arms are so tightly held against her body, that they seem embedded - as if they contained no bones!
Her stance is ambivalent: from the profile view she seems dynamic - her hair appears to be pulling her backwards, while her body is straining and bending forward as if struggling against the wind; from the front however, she seems immobile, rooted to the earth that she defends with all the massive volume of her body.
This man and woman are more concerned with each other, rather than looking out into the world; their stance is more formal, rather than tender - establishing their togetherness as a firm social fact. I emphasise their equal size, status and similar nature.