Startlingly powerful, Chaim’s Family in Flight, explores an issue that was extremely close to the sculptor’s heart. Like his Noah and the Dove, this work is not primarily a religious piece, rather an observation of a subject that spans the globe and countless centuries. Hugely emotive, this family seems almost flattened by their endurance, the children drawn into the mother’s body for protection. While the family strains to move forward, their clothes catch behind them in sharp, jagged points, expressing the poignance of their flight and eternally pointing toward the home they must leave and to which the father turns.
The renowned sculptor Chaim Stephenson had an extraordinary life. Originally 'Harry', the child of Russian immigrants, he was born in 1926 in Liverpool. After the local Jewish school, he was recruited into the mines as one of the' Bevin Boys'. In 1947 he changed his name to Chaim and joined a group of Jewish people who, having learnt to farm in England, set up a Kibbutz in Palestine. When the state of Israel was declared, Claim joined the Palmach and fought in the first Arab-Israeli war. Later he became a shepherd and gardener in a kibbutz in Galilea and for the next 21 years, in any spare time, he taught himself to sculpt, working in clay, wood, plaster and poured concrete.
In the 60s he studied under Willi Soukop in England and met his wife, the novelist Lynne Reid Banks. They lived with their young family in Palestine for nine years until returning to England where Chaim became a full-time sculptor. His work is in private collections around the world and a striking example is prominently placed in St Martin’s-in-the-Fields, London.
More of this talented sculptor's works are on display in our lovely Burford Art Gallery.
Materials: Cast bronze, suitable for indoors or outside
Dimensions (approx.): H:85cm, W: 33cm, D:20cm
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