Caryatid Limewood, oil colour and gold leaf 2003

I was invited to make Caryatid for an exhibition at St. Thomas Becket church at Fairfield , Kent as part of ‘Art in Romney Marsh’. The church of St.Thomas Becket stands stark and alone on Walland Marsh. It has no memorials or gravestones in the cemetery because the area often used to flood. In fact those attending services would have to row a small boat over to the church which stands on a mound. The last person to be buried there in 1859 was a young woman who was in service locally, Kate Tolhurst. I made this piece as a temporary memorial to her and to all those who were once laid to rest there but who no longer have a stone or marker to commemorate them.

In classical architecture a caryatid is a draped female figure used as an architectural support instead of a column. The caryatids would therefore literally carry a great architectural weight. My Caryatid explores this idea of burden and perhaps punishment. She was placed outside the church supporting a huge golden boulder on her head. In spite of this she rises upwards in keeping with the Christian belief in resurrection: that the dead are merely sleeping until they rise again.

Christine Kowal Post

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'Caryatid' at Fairfield Church, Romney Marsh 'Caryatid' 2003 Oil and Gold leaf on Limewood. Height 2.13m Detail of 'Caryatid' 2003 Oil and Gold leaf on Limewood. Height 2.13 m 'Sleeping Head' 2003 Oil on limewood, charring. Height 1.72 m DEtail of 'Sleeping Head' 2003 Oil on limewood, charring. Height 1.72 m

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