I was curious when a client commissioned me to make a bear head for him. So I asked its significance.
He had undergone a life-threatening illness and major surgery. Through the depths of the treatment he held the bear as a symbol of resilience. He was inspired by how the bear withstands the harshness of the winter conditions, endures it all and comes through the winter.
The image of the bear both motivated and calmed him hrough his illness. Not the bear as fierce or savage, but as strong and enduring; centred and with the grit to survive the harsh times and see the spring.
Making the piece was meditative as I repeatedly stroke the clay with my fingers and thumbs. The process connected me to a very good friend of mine who at the same time was struggling against a similar illness and we recently laid him to rest.
Thankfully the client is doing very well and just back from a trip to Argentina. Today he visited to collect his commission.
Ceramic Stoneware, 31x28x29cm on a mahogany plinth.
The bear enjoyed a brief sojourn in a niche in the rocks before the plinth was added.