January 28, 2021

What Did You Manage To Achieve While You Were Shielding?

Alan Lees

Lime WoodThe Last Supper, 2020

With significant health issues, I’ve been shielding for more than a year. In 2020 I went back to a woodcarving that I had begun to sketch out many years previously – a large (77 x 38 x 10 cm) high relief carving of the Last Supper. I managed to set up a sloping workbench with my folding wheelchair, so that I could sit down to work on it – at first in my old workshop at the bottom of the garden, and then, when the weather grew too cold, in the house. I haven’t carved for some years. Most of my sculptural carvings were very large and my arthritis is severely disabling – but this was manageable. Slowly but surely, the Last Supper emerged from this big block of lime as though it had been in there, waiting to be discovered for many years. It feels like such an achievement but more than that, it was a pleasure to create. It’s still here in my house, signifying something positive and inspirational achieved during a horrible time for all of us. I’d like to find the right setting for it.