Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)
Gandhi, known as the father of India helped the country get freedom by non violent movement. He has influenced the psyche of many of the greats that followed such as Nelson Mandela, but also those of scores of unknown people. He brought conscious action more to the public domain.
I was influenced by his actions and the tolerance he preached and followed.
In the making of Gandhi I already knew how he looked and the piece was done in a brief period of time, it reminded me about how the mind worked from memories. In art this is an intense observation rather than a general one. It was like being a MRI scanner, scanning all the topography available to provide in a diagnosis, in this case a portrait. There was enough material out there to work from.
The aim of the project was gratitude to India and the man himself. I wanted to capture the essence of him, a frail man with a mind of steel. Growing up we had public holidays in his honour. The fact that he understood English law having trained and educated himself in South Africa, helped him to gain independence for India. He provided the most relevant question, asking for those same English laws to be applied in India, which brought about the largest non violent demonstration and ultimately independence.
It makes me sad that many wars are still being fought despite the fact that they could be resolved by negotiation.
This piece was my first bronze and it was precious. It truly was a special moment for me, birthing me as a sculptor.
The piece was exhibited in Leek at Foxlowe gallery and received a lot of discussion and appreciation.