Totem sculpture 1

Totem sculpture 1

Left to myself, the pieces I create combine eclectic representative styles with a leitmotiv of mythological images.The Green Man, for example, is an image and idea going back thousands of years, so the holly and oak forms used in the face is a reference the druids would have recognised. But as with many of my pieces, I have used stylistic forms which borrow directly from the tradition of representation used by the carvers of African masks. What a powerful visual language they used! Simple, but stark, direct, and immediately effective. So this has become deeply incorporated in many of my pieces.

Some of the other mythological references in this totem:

The owls at the top: owls are one of the few birds that have been found in prehistoric cave paintings. Owls have been both revered & feared throughout many civilisations from ancient to more recent times. In ancient Greece, owls were often seen as a symbol of good fortune. The idea of the ‘wise old owl may have come into being from the association of the owl with the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athene.

The ring of acorns: the acorn is a symbol of strength and power. Because the acorn only appears on a fully mature oak, it is often considered a symbol of the patience needed to attain goals over long periods of time. It represents perseverance and hard work. The veneration of the oak tree extends by association to the acorn; nit just a symbol of growth and regeneration of life: in Nordic belief, acorns on the windowsill were believed to protect a house from being hit by lightning. In parts of Britain, young ladies followed a custom of wearing an acorn on a string around their neck: it was believed that this was a talisman against premature aging.

The sun and the moon: the universality of beliefs associated with these images needs no explanation.

The three hares: More about this striking image elsewhere in this website.