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French Caen limestone (Red St Bees Sandstone base waxed to emphasise colour).
18cm W x 41cm H x 10cm D / Base: 25cm W x 10cm H x 20cm D
Based on an 12th church carving from Chloran, Westmeath, Ireland, now in the British Museum. The original is a strange and disturbing image whose purpose has long been speculated about. It was hacked out of an extremely hard stone using primitive tools - which would have been an extremely arduous task. Clearly the original sculptor wanted to say something and put much effort into this carving. I
wanted to faithfully recreate the eroded and broken form using a smooth stone and modern chisels - so that the original sculptor's intention can be seen clearly. Many people have assumed she is an apotropaic device - put on buildings to scare away evil. Having sculpted her I'm inclined to think her silent scream and gentle hand/vulva gesture is about birth, her skull-like head reminding us death is always close, especially during birth. It's certainly not a warning against the evils of sex, as presumed by later viewers in the past.
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