Happy Xmas!

Those who have known me for some years will recall that each Xmas I send an image which reflects both the past year and something of the Xmas spirit.

Bringing these together in the year Trump took office in America, the UK started the 'brexit' procedure, and Europe continued to struggle with refugees, there seemed only one theme that would do: the common humanity and shared values of all peoples.

I thought first of the many sculptures commemorating the children saved from fascism before the war, such as Frank Meisler's 'Kindertransport' sculpture at London's Liverpool Street Station; but on reflection I have chosen a slightly more artistically challenging sculpture for this year's Xmas Image, by Moroccan-French-Italian artist Bruno Catalano.

Catalano has described his 'Voyageurs' - naturalistic figures with large parts of their bodies missing - as 'world citizens', and he has linked them with his own experience of emigrating from Morocco to France as a child, then working as a sailor...

“I have travelled a lot, and I left Morocco when I was 12 years old.  I felt that a part of me was gone and will never come back.”

Others see the missing body parts more optimistically, as referring to some fulfilment to be discovered in new lives ahead.

For me, neither of these views quite gets to the slightly disturbing quality of the works.  The faces look worried - can their identity really be completed by wherever they happen to find themselves?  - or will they just slowly fade away, until they are entirely lost there?

But wherever you find yourself - Have a Great Xmas!

See more 'Voyageurs' here.