When I was asked to consider making a wall mounted panel depicting Mother and Child for the chapel at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (Wonford) that would help people in their worship , I was a little apprehensive as my usual style is three dimensional sculpture. I studied a few pictures of icons, made sketches of ideas, including three or four in clay and tried to use a very simple line to suggest form, hair, clothing and a close bond between the adult and infant.
The inspiration for the finished panel came from a photograph shown to me by a work colleague, of a mother with her newborn child. The mother was my colleague’s daughter and the baby her first grandson. I let the clay capture the natural look of the woman. The embrace seemed so restful and complete, with the sweep of her arm cradling and protecting the little one so intimately.
The panel is stoneware, made from hand building clay, and has a rough unglazed finish which interacts well with the gentle lighting in the chapel.
Hand building clay. Stoneware: Unglazed