This work began as an exploration of the notion of Bodhicitta, the embodiment of the Buddhist concept of universal compassion.
I began by trying to make the image universal across all cultures. So I used the symbol of a mother and child for this stylised sculpture as it that image has almost the same meaning of compassion and care, irrespective of the social underpinnings and religious beliefs of any specific society.
However as often happens when a sculptor works the material in person, the sculpture itself evolves beyond the underlying idea. It is my fervent belief that at least in the realm of sculpture,that the idea is not the work, but only the beginning of the journey that leads to the final work.
Some observers see compassion in this piece others see guidance. While the latter interpretation was not what I had in mind when I began this work, that notion of time and place links in very nicely with the Dance of Time Series of mine.
The stone has wonderful wavy striations on the one "shoulder" and when designing the work this had to be taken into account and every effort made to preserve its integrity. The "head" of the "mother" is represented by a half orb, excavated in a crescent shape where the face might be. The idea is to suggest infinity through the use of the negative space instead of putting banal features onto the mother form. Each viewer is thus able to make their own projection so what might be seen on the face of the caring mother.
The "Child" is a piece of volcanic basalt, while the "Mother" figure was carved out of sedimentary sandstone. This use of two different types of stone was deliberate. This represents the core symbolic idea of this work, the impartiality of the Carer toward the Cared-for, irrespective of the environment and background that either may come from. The use of two stones also works well in the alternative soothsayer reading. The larger figure of time is guiding the planet to, or sheltering it from, the future.
I have deliberately excavated the rear of the sandstone block, both for aesthetic reasons and to suggest that while there might be a gulf between the Carer and Cared-for, the very nature of caring surrounds and circumvents that chasm. The space between the downward looking "Mother" and upward facing "Child" is also symbolic of the link between the two irrespective of space between.
In garden setting