‘Belonging’ Bronze cast on Cherry wood burl. 40x30x30cm (bronze figure: 25x18x8cm)
My sculpture, ‘Belonging’, is about finding a sense of place, which is a recurring theme in my work. The closest equivalent to ‘belonging’ I have found in the Welsh language is perhaps ‘Cynefin’ (‘Habitat’) or ‘Ymdeimlad o le’ (‘Sense of place’).
‘Belonging’ follows on from a previous series of paintings entitled ‘Uprooted’, which was about displacement and exile. This sculpture represents my own shifts in identity and sense of place, especially the challenges faced as a gay person growing up in a broken home. I have pursued my own sense of belonging for many years, which I feel that I have now found in my adopted country of Wales.
The reclining figure was first sculpted in direct plaster then cast in bronze in December 2019 and finished in January 2020. It sits on a cherry wood burl cut from a felled cherry tree in the wood outside my studios. The burl had been drying in my studios for 4 years waiting to be used in a piece of work, so when the bronze sculpture was finished their union seemed inevitable. The wood material of the sculpture represents the figure’s habitat (cynefin), in other words its own sense of place (ymdeimlad o le). It can be exhibited indoors or outdoors.