This sculpture was my first attempt at carving the female form. The wood started to split badly and I really wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue.
But then I was fortunate to hear two ladies talking on Radio 4’s Listening Project. They were discussing how, not being able to produce milk for medical reasons, had affected them quite deeply. At one point one lady simply said her body felt a bit broken. It just resonated with me and inspired me to continue with my sculpture.
There are some obvious splits in the wood, some might see it as damaged but in fact the true damage is inside and not obvious to the onlooker. Whether it be the breasts which are not able to produce milk or the mental health issues which have no connection to the split through the face. The actual breaks are hidden.
I have come to see that not only does the external damage not always reflect the internal damage but, in actual fact, as far as this carving is concerned, I feel that the personality of the subject has taken over from the damage and I don’t see the splits any more.