Head: woman with head scarf
2007 Portland stone

Stone carving has been a technique I have slowly been learning at the workshops run by the Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust on the Isle of Portland www.learningstone.org. These carved heads are amongst two sculptures I have managed to complete during two of their five-day workshops.

I am fascinated with the way fabric drapes the body and possibly because of my childhood in Africa and a quick trip to India a few years ago, have been playing with images in print, bronze sculptures and now stone carvings, depicting figures draped or wrapped.

The splitting of Portland Stone is part of the learning process witnessed over the course of the week and as can be seen in both sculptures, the holes and scars of the drill are clearly evident. It seemed to me to be apt to leave these scars visible in order to hint at the hard lives these women have in their daily routines in comparison to western women. And, how elegant and proud they appear in their flowing garments despite this hardship. These scars are also a way of showing where the material for the sculptures has come from, a depth of time which is difficult to imagine – a limestone set down in the Jurassic period!