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Mother and Baby by Toby Megaw

Toby Megaw (1965-)

Mother and Baby
2010
Bronze

Hierdie beeldhouwerk handel oor die moeder as versorger. Die vrou en haar baba het op die Megaws se familieplaas naby Knysna gewoon. Sy verbeeld die onbaatsugtige liefde vir die familie vir wie ons omgee. Die werk is geskep gedurende die tyd wat Toby sy vrou ontmoet het, en besig was om sy eie stem as beeldhouer te ontwikkel. In teenstelling met die latere Moeder en Kind-beeld, was Toby op hierdie tydstip nog nie self ’n ouer nie.

“As ʼn beeldhouer daag ek myself uit om lewe in stil, lewelose klei te blaas en om betekenisvolle, ekspressiewe vorm daaruit te skep. Die vorm kan stil en besielend, of dalk sterk en vol lewe wees. Ek poog om deur subtiele gebare ’n visuele uitdrukking van ons menslikheid weer te gee – van ’n krom vrou wie se lewenservaring uit die geboënheid van haar rug en nek blyk, tot die energie van ’n jong kind vol lewenslus. Deur klei met eenvoudige houtspane te vorm, streef ek daarna om vorm te suggereer, eerder as om te definieer. Soms verg dit deursettingsvermoë om die klei te omvorm, en ander kere is die werk meditatief. Op ’n ander vlak verken ek hoe vorm en inhoud met mekaar verband hou en waar lyne deur ’n werk saamvloei. My hoop is dat, indien my werk enigsins geslaagd is, dit die aanskouer ’n gevoel van die essensiële sal gee, en hulle vir ’n oomblik nader aan die kern van die lewe sal bring.” – Toby Megaw

Toby Megaw is in 1965 gebore, en het in Johannesburg en Kaapstad grootgeword. Hy was ’n drama- en Engelsonderwyser vir ’n aantal jare, waarna hy by sy pa, Theo Megaw, aangesluit het op hulle familieplaas binneland van Knysna af. Daar het hy vir vyftien jaar in eenvoud gelewe en by sy pa leer beeldhou. Die ruwe, soliede berglandskap het ’n merkbare invloed op sy vorming as beeldhouer gehad. Toby werk met klei wat by die plaasdam op die familieplaas uitgegrawe word, waarna sy werk in brons gegiet word. Hy woon en werk tans in Muizenberg saam met sy vrou, ’n professionele musikant, en hul twee jong kinders.

Toby Megaw se werk word deur Read Contemporary Galleries uitgestal en is gesog deur plaaslike en internasionale versamelaars. Die vier meter hoë Wyndraer by die La Motte Wynlandgoed in Franschhoek, is sy grootste werk tot op hede.

This sculpture is inspired by the mother as nurturer. The woman and her baby are from the Megaws’ family farm inland from Knysna. She embodies the constant love and caring bestowed upon family and the people we care for. The work was created during the time in which Toby met his wife and was developing his own voice as sculptor. Unlike with the Mother and Child sculpture, Toby was not yet a parent himself when he created this work.

As a sculptor, I challenge myself to take the inert substance of clay, cold and still, and imbue it with life. To engage with it, be sensitive to it, allow it to find a meaningful and real, expressive form. This might be still, quiet, soulful, or maybe robust, rugged and full of vigour. I work to express our humanity through physique, stance and subtle gesture; from a bent old woman, with her life experience speaking through the angles of her neck and back, to the sprightly energy of a young child, lively, pert and full of budding vitality. Shaping the clay with simple wooden batons, I strive to suggest rather than define. Sometimes this calls for determination, mustering everything to transform the clay; at other times my work is meditative. On another level, I explore how shapes and volumes relate to each other and where the lines flow through a piece. My hope is that if at all successful, my pieces will give the viewer a sense of the essential, and, for a moment, bring them closer to the core of life.” – Toby Megaw

Toby Megaw was born in 1965, and grew up first in Johannesburg and later in Cape Town. In his early thirties, after some years as a drama and English teacher, he joined his father, Theo Megaw, on the family farm inland from Knysna. Here, he spent fifteen years living very simply off the grid, learning from his sculptor father. The rugged mountainous terrain, with its solid, three-dimensional honesty and integrity, had a profound influence on shaping him as a sculptor. He sculpts in raw clay, dug from beside the farm dam. His work is cast in bronze. He now lives and works in Muizenberg, a seaside suburb of Cape Town, with his wife, a professional musician, and their two young children.

Toby Megaw’s work is exhibited by Read Contemporary Galleries. His work is sought after by local and international collectors. The four-metre-high Wine Bearer at the La Motte wine estate in Franschhoek is his biggest work to date.