Friday 5 February 2021

Emily Williamson Sculpture Competition.

I would very much like make this sculpture because it combines both my love of portraits and of birds ( Zoology 

My intention with this sculpture is both to offer a recognisable likeness of Emily Wiliamson, as far as we have it from the few images of her, and also to illustrate her passion for birdlife and desire to free birds from persecution by the hat feather trade.

It will represent Emily’s aspirations behind her idea of the pledge to
‘wear no feathers’ that she organised amongst her friends. The liberation of the birds into flight will seek to illustrate the story of Emily’s journey towards an awareness of the ecological environment and preservation of bird species threatened with extinction, and the establishment of the RSPB.

She is a figure both within and beyond the constraints of conventional Victorian womanhood.

Please scroll down to see my drawings and rough model/maquette for the proposed sculpture.

Front view, wearing the dress in the photograph and holding a flowered hat of that time.  

Left side view, with the bas-relief of birds beginning to spiral around her dress.

Back view, with the birds morphing from bas-relief to 3 dimension and flying up.

Right side view, with the bas-relief of birds subtly emerging and taking form as they spiral around the dress and take flight.

Detail of the bas relief in which many bird species can be spotted.

 The sculpture will include many of the specific bird species that she was successful in protecting. They will be depicted in the form of a delicate low or bas-relief in a spiral around her dress. This increasingly vigorous spiral motion will swirl upwards around her full Victorian skirts and hat, continuing up behind her waist and progressively morphing into three-dimensional birds that fly around her raised arm and hand and beyond. 

The low bas-relief birds on her dress will not detract from the portrait or weigh the work down, but as they begin to emerge more clearly around the back of the figure, they offer increased interest for this part of the sculpture, encouraging viewers to observe and enjoy the work from every angle, as well as inviting them to engage with the work by identifying the birds depicted.

Photos of a very rough maquette, showing how the birds emerge from the swirl of movement around her dress and take flight, the smallest ( hummingbirds) being the last to fly away.

Left side view

Right and back view of rough maquette.

Detail of the back of the dress where the different bird species will be dipicted in low relief.

Please scoll down for my recent portrait work and a bas relief of birds. 

For more examples of my sculptures in bronze and my paintings please visit my website 

Low relief/Bas-relief of six curious roosters, teracotta 20 x 27cm

Getting a likeness - portrait in terracotta of Enzo Pasquini, a master carver of marble.

Maestra Nerina Simi,  (1890 - 1987) life-size bronze, finalist in this year's International Salon of the Art Renewal Centre, New York.

Getting a likeness working from only photographic references and memory of my teacher.

Facing The Future, larger than life-size bronze of a mute swan. Also a finalist in a previous year's ARC Salon, NY.

In the Mariani Foundry, Pietrasanta, as the bronze swan is prepared for the final stage of patination.

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