“If all 10 of us could talk, we would be saying what have you done to us why have some of us got eyes, nose, eyebrows, and a mouth and legs, while the rest of us have to speak with our eyes.” – D.
These ‘funky-looking people’ were created by participants on the ‘Express Yourself’ art and writing course I am running at Hafan Y Coed Mental Health unit. We worked with air-drying clay to create small sculptures inspired by Anthony Gormley’s Field, 1991 (35,000 individual terracotta figures sculpted in Mexico by members of a Texca family of brickmakers, under the supervision of the artist). Our seven families of ten figurines are to be exhibited in the HeARTh Gallery as part of the celebrations to mark 70 years of the NHS.
The clay, sensitised by touch and made conscious by being given eyes, everyone agreed developed individual personalities when shaped into the little people. Participants wrote a piece to accompany the sculptures, imagining what they might say if they could speak:
“I’m tall and slender, seeming alone, yet not for me, solitude. My frog-like eyes look up to the skies” – K
“No two of us are the same. All individuals.” – C
“One big family.” – G