The subject, Noah and the Dove has clear biblical associations, but the point Chaim is making with this powerful work is all-embracing, beyond religion - the message he promulgates is one of hope. The lower part of the sculpture is deceptively simple and undefined, the weight unevenly distributed on Noah's feet, the expression instead is concentrated in the upper body. V-shaped folds in the material of the sleeves and the back of his tunic, create a rhythm, echoing the strong angles of the elbows. But it is in the extraordinarily powerfully modelled face and the tenderness of the hands, holding the symbolic bird, that make the work so very powerful.
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:74cm, W: 15cm, D:27cm
Burford Garden Company is acting as an agent on behalf of the artists displaying work in this online gallery. Refunds on works are discretionary and goods must be returned within seven days of purchase, at the latest.
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