Whilst installing ‘The Sisters’ in Ellesmere last June, Nick had this idea for a memorial to mark the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic. This is the mockup that we produced of his initial idea, ‘The Oracle,’ set against the beautiful backdrop of Ellesmere. He is now looking for a suitable site for this powerful piece.
At the time, Nick made this statement: “In the six years of the Second World War, the UK lost some 60,000 civilians to the conflict. We have lost the same number in 3 months, to this devastating virus.” Today, one year on, the total deaths in the UK have surpassed 152,000.
“After both world wars there was a need for memorials in almost every town and village, and I feel there’s a need for a place of focus and contemplation: As a response to the premature and unexpected loss of so many lives.”
“We are pleased to commission Nick Eames to create ‘The Sisters’ sculpture to commemorate the outstanding achievements of Eglantyne and Dorothy Jebb, who were born in Ellesmere, Shropshire. One hundred years ago they set up the ‘Save the Children’ Fund, at a meeting in the Albert Hall, and it has continued to carry out its vital humanitarian role across the world until the present day.
During 2019-20 in Ellesmere, Ellesmere Sculpture Initiative is celebrating the work of these extraordinary, but largely forgotten, sisters through a range of local events and activities. These include a research programme, talks and exhibitions, a day Seminar on April 1st 2020 and the creation of a Jebb Garden which will feature Nick’s Sisters sculpture as a permanent tribute to the women.
The Jebb Garden to be sited in the mere-side public gardens will also feature an interactive ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘Refuge’ sculpture, representing the journeys of refugee children displaced by conflict and natural disasters.”
An original piece of mine is being considered for the Ellesmere Sculpture Trail, to commemorate the centenary of the ‘Save the Children’ charity – founded in 1919 by Eglantyne Jebb (an Ellesmere resident), with the support of sister Dorothy Buxton.
As Clare Mulley describes in her biography of Eglantyne Jebb, in April 1919, 2 women stood in Trafalgar Square: Eglantyne Jebb, and Barbara Ayrton Gould (young secretary of the Women’s League and a seasoned Suffragette).
They were distributing leaflets showing the ravages of famine on small children, the victims of war. Standing alone, these women attempted to appeal to the war weary, indifferent, and often hostile public, showing compassion for the displaced and starving children of Europe. Arrested later that day, Eglantyne would have depended on the support of her comrade.
The same bond existed with her remarkable sister Dorothy Buxton, as they spread their message through speaking tours of the influential drawing rooms of London. These women were able to achieve astonishing things because they stood shoulder to shoulder as sisters; and this is what I wish to acknowledge in my sculpture – to convey not how they would have looked, but how they felt.
As I began to research these remarkable women, I immediately knew the sculpture I wished to build. My sculptures are inspired by found natural forms that initially attract my attention: I have produced a series of initial studies, from forms found in the split kindling used for fire lighting. One of these (originally entitled ‘Twins’) is the basis for my proposed sculpture, ‘The Sisters.’
If commissioned, this sculpture will be built at approximately 2.3 metres in height, moulded and then cast in High Alumina Cement, in situ, by April 2020. This is the same process used to create my original work ‘Trilogy,’ as can be seen in my recent/ongoing posts and updates.