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Dominic Ellery
Italy, 1969 Plaster

Making a portrait of another human being is a great privilege for me, and it needs certain conditions. I always work from life, in a one-to-one situation with peaceful surroundings, so that my subject’s natural presence can become clear to me. It is then my job to record my impressions in the clay- a synthesis of feelings and observation.

The different ages of man present varying challenges. Best of all I love the natural life-force in a child’s being-‘trailing clouds of glory’. But then I am also fascinated by the mercurial complexity of the adolescent; sometimes tentative and faint, sometimes vividly overpowering.

Most difficult perhaps to portray is the sophisticated self-awareness, the mature beauty, and sometimes glorious pretensions of the adult. Later there is a certain relief in examining the weight of experience which is borne inescapably and tangibly by the older sitters. The light of wisdom shines through their features.