Dawn Rowland FRSS
As a sculptor, I explore the interdependency and fragility of human relationships and how these fit into the world around us. I express my own experiences – my personal and emotional CV – but the underlying feelings are universal. These are realised in such series as “The Warrior Dreams” and ‘Letting Go”, both of which resonate with the transient nature of bringing up a child to adulthood. Other sculptures deal with these relationships through life, for example “My Mother Myself…My Daughter Myself” and “Mother and Daughter”.
As a twin I have never been alone and the double images and faces in my sculpture reflect this special duality. Touch is that special connection in a relationship and therefore hands are also very important in my work. They express a multitude of emotions. They can be tender and loving but also angry and unforgiving.
A two-week stone carving course changed my life forever. I was totally drawn to stone. There is a physicality and sensuality to working in stone. Most of the time I carve directly, retaining the freshness and spontaneity that only direct carving can bring. Other times I draw an image straight onto the stone. I then carve it, change it, enjoying the fluidity and spirit of the stone and eventually bring the sculpture to fruition.
Although I work predominantly in stone I also enjoy the differences that come from making a sculpture in bronze. Initially moulding, kneading and adding clay or pushing plaster to build up a sculpture adds another dimension to my sculptural language. The way the light bounces off the finished bronze creates a very different mood to stone. The various colours of patinas add further to this difference.
I think that making sculpture is like a microcosm of life with all its struggles, hard work and joy, yet the satisfaction and pleasure is worth everything.