“Sculpture is made with two instruments and some supports and pretty air.” Gertrude Stein
During my recent travels, I had the opportunity to spend a day alone in Liverpool, meandering through museums. Although I love paintings, on this day it was sculpture that most intrigued me. Starting at the Walker Museum, I found four traditional sculptures (three tucked into a corner room by the door) – two by Antonio Rossetti, one by Auguste Rodin, and one by William John. The Rodin was Minerva, a bust of a woman – a fairly traditional white marble female face, but wearing a bronze helmet that, from one angle looks floral or paisley and completely benign, but from another, looks like the face of a monster or a dragon.
The Rossetti sculptures – Time is Precious and Secret Love – were both familiar and somehow new. Time is Precious depicts a girl reading -what a wonderful reminder to me that I need to spend my precious time with words. She was beautifully lit and made me feel like I had just heaved a relaxing sigh. Secret Love was a small sculpture of a veiled Cupid. I was fascinated by the way the sculptor created the illusion of a transparent veil using solid material.
The last sculpture that spoke to me was one called Age by William John. Although I am not sure why this is the title, the intimacy of the secret being shared between the figures caught my eye immediately. I have a few pages of notes about these sculptures which may make their way into poems. I like the idea from the Rodin of a woman with a monster on her head, and the veils and whispers of two of the others hold some promising ideas as well.
I will post about some more modern sculptures from the Tate Liverpool this weekend – I get excited when I find new art to love that I haven’t seen before – and oh, by the way, I will be doing a Rhino Forum on the last Sunday in February that deals with ekphrastic poetry, so I am thrilled to have had such recent new encounters with art that are inspiring me. (More details later…)
Enjoy the sculptures!