The concept of Mother & Child is a timeless one, inspiring art and artists throughout history, with images of motherhood appearing in art from the Stone Age through to modern times. In this collection of ten new sculptures, the artist references the work of Minimalism and masters such as Henry Moore, whose influence looms heavy over this collection.
Shendi reduces the human body to a vessel or minimal shape, his creations become a container which host not only new life but also the hidden truths and stories centered on the emotions of motherhood.
Whilst he appreciates the abstract form, his interest is in the human and psychological dimensions to his sculptures – stripping human nature down to its essence, and then expressing it in a sculptural language. Mother & Child is one of the artists most personal and powerful collections to date and yet is one of the most universally accessible.
The colour blue is prevalent throughout the collection and is used in a way that respectfully represents the struggles which go with motherhood; the depression, the sleepless nights, the fear of losing the child, the back pain, the swollen feet, the pain of giving birth, and beyond one’s own comfort, the sacrifice.
Shendi explains, “as a male artist, perhaps I didn’t feel the direct experience as my mother, my wife, my sisters or friends and what they went through but emotionally and visually I felt I could express it in a sculptural language. These ten pieces of ‘Mother and Child’ show there is a darker side to motherhood, that perhaps the mother knows before she goes through it, or is not aware of it, or something forgotten or buried deep, not spoken of.”
Shendi continues, “Perhaps as a reminder of the truth… that motherhood is one of the greatest and unrecognized and often underappreciated roles on earth” .
This exhibition of ten new works by Sam Shendi will be complimented by a new documentary of the artist in conversation and new photography of the artist at work.
Sam Shendi has previously exhibited at galleries in London, Paris and Munich. Assistant Curator Jason White says, “I have followed Sam’s progress as an artist for nearly a decade and it is my absolute delight to be able to exhibit his powerful new sculptures here at The Civic in Barnsley. Following an exhibition by a celebrated name such as Cornelia Parker with another exhibition of sculpture of such a high standard and quality, really shows that The Gallery@ The Civic is more than capable of bringing high calibre art and design to Barnsley and to an eager audience.
Mother & Child is on at The Gallery at The Civic, from Sat 3 Dec – Sat 28 Jan.
The Gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm. Admission is FREE.
For more information and to book visit www.barnsleycivic.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01226 327000.