October 18, 2019

What are we doing to our oceans?

Alan Lees

WoodManannan MacLir, 199933 inches high, 9 inches by 9 inches base

This is a hand carved sculpture representing Manannan MacLir. It was made some 20 years ago when I was in the middle of my career as a woodcarver and it depicts the Celtic god of the sea and – perhaps more vitally – guardian of the afterlife. Over the years since I first made it, I think I have understood more of what it represents, each year. I once worked as a trawlerman, and then as a professional yacht skipper. The sea has always loomed very large in my life, has always meant a great deal to me – sometimes providing a living, sometimes threatening death. Manannan is grave, wise, serene but also somehow impersonal He does what he must. This is a very heavy piece, carved with an intricate and original design of many sea creatures, with the sea god rising in the middle of them. I find I appreciate our oceans and the creatures in them more with each year that passes.