Clay sculpture that originated from a mould where the clay was able to harden just enough to be strong enough to hold up but not too hard so as not to be malleable any more. From this start I keep changing the pose, shape and detail until i reach an image – a face that says something… Difficult to say what that is but the process is to keep moving the clay around until I’m happy with what I’ve got in front of me in terms of proportions and expression on the face. Following the theme of male heads and beards, as this sculpture developed, I noticed that it began to resemble a Velazquez style painting – pointy bearded portrait if half pose with a moustache. I stopped developing it at that point and fired the clay to 1300 C which brought out the shiny, glossy surface pitted with marks of imperfection from silica in the rough clay.
Subsequently I searched online to see what my own sculpture reminded me of and found the Velazquez painting. Surprisingly Bacon was also looking at it and painted a portrait after the one of Pope Innocent X.
I’ve not had a look at his life and achievements yet and this may be a mistake… He could have been a very unsavoury character! So I’ll have to look him up. My sculpture was not a celebration of his life – it bears a very faint resemblance and something of a traditional touch that I like to keep in my work. It was never intended as an homage or a study.