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Nick Eames: The Sisters Sculpture- Part 1

Nick Eames: The Sisters Sculpture- Part 1

By Rita Halliday- Contributor rITA

The Ellesmere Sculpture Initiative (ESI), is a local group which commissions and showcases sculptures that link art, the environment and the community.  It works with representatives of local government, professionals, schools and the wider community and has led the development of a sculpture trail alongside the town’s mere, the Llangollen canal and the town centre.

Its latest project is the creation of an art installation and garden to mark the centenary of the Save the Children charity, founded in 1919 by two Ellesmere-born sisters, Eglantyne Jebb and Dorothy Buxton.

The garden will be developed near the main entrance to the woodland walk around the mere, known as Cremorne Gardens, one of the most popular beauty spots in north Shropshire.

Trudi Graham, the group’s artistic co-ordinator explained how they commissioned North Wales artist Nick Eames to create a sculpture of the Jebb sisters –largely unknown heroines who became passionately involved in social reform, predominantly at the end of the 1st World War.   They wanted to raise awareness and provide relief aid for starving children in central Europe, which was still suffering food shortages because of a blockade by Britain and its Allies even after hostilities had ended.

It was a source of great distress to them and they formed a group called “Fight the Famine,” raising money for food and medical supplies. This evolved into Save the Children, now one of the world’s leading international relief agencies, operating in nearly 120 countries, including the UK.

A centenary seminar to celebrate the sisters’ achievements and highlight the continuing suffering of children displaced by conflict was arranged by ESI at Ellesmere College.  But it had to be cancelled because of government restrictions imposed by the Covid19 emergency.

However, the wider project, including ‘The Sisters’ sculpture will continue, once the restrictions are lifted.

Trudi said they were impressed by Nick’s proposal and by what he wanted to achieve with his abstract sculpture in recognising that although Eglantyne became the charity’s figurehead, Dorothy played an equally important role in its formation.

The piece would be based on nature, in a natural outdoor habitat, with both figures initially based on a piece of firewood split in two pieces, but together, fluid, feminine, strong and inextricably linked forever.





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