Burdened Man I (Maquette), 2017
Bronze on Granite
Edition of 12
210 x 310 x 110 mm
Three male figures carry a wooden boat overhead with arms upstretched, each with a slightly different posture. The boat is overturned and has been slightly mis-shaped and mis-formed through repeated use, seeming almost archaic and decaying. The textured surface of the boat contrasts with the smooth muscled anatomy of the three figures. The base is a low incline, three-tiered pyramid. Burdened Man I paradoxically captures the opposition of decay and permanence through its medium; a decaying wooden objection cast in bronze, however also evokes the question; what is permanence?
The three figures are labouring with common purpose however there exists a continuous power struggle in the hierarchy of the chain; the front figure, representative of all leaders, should be the guide, however his leaning back stance contrasts with that of the last, upright figure, representative of followers or those starting at the “bottom” who may have their own ambitions. The middle figure is caught in a rigid pose, perhaps trying to act as an equalizer, however his own efficiency and progress is frozen. There exists a delicate balance of movement, a house of cards, which is potentially threatened by either leader exerting too much dominance, followers rebelling or simply a loss of synchronicity that easily unravels a society, and can create sudden shifts of power.