With the year's first aconites and snowdrops peeping through and the
Cotswold woodland budding from its wrinkled winter bark, ready to
burst into a bright haze of new leaves, nature is a constant source for
We've always been intrigued by the 'Foliate head' or 'Green man'. Depicted over centuries as a leafy face, a pagan symbol of nature and its yearly regeneration, the image has been embraced by many cultures alongside their religions.
Is he a face peering through the trees, or wild man of the woods: a forest myth to scare the children? Sometimes he sprouts leafy branches from ears and eyes and sometimes disgorges foliage as though nature is drawing him back into the soil. From the ancient legend of Osiris, 'the verdant one' (green man), is the voice of inspiration. There is no single story to define him, so he can be whatever you choose to believe, which makes him so interesting.
But where is the feminine balance to his representation? It's surprising that female foliate heads are rarely found. Sculpting a Green Woman will be part of our work for 2013, we are modelling her in clay to be cast in bronze and we'll also be carving her in stone. With current enthusiasm for greener living and equality what form will she take: multi-tasking earth-mother or nature's siren tempting you to an alternative lifestyle?
also been researching poetry to make some carved stone inscriptions
evocative of this theme.
You will be able to see 'Green Woman' displayed at our Studio exhibition for Oxfordshire Artweeks in May, our 'Green Man' can currently be viewed in our SALE ROOM page.