Venus and the Gas Bill
This sculpture began life in a Richmond upon Thames life class which I attended for a thousand hours with other equally dedicated students most Friday evenings in the 80s.
A particular life model posed like this for five Friday evenings, and that would be fifteen hours of standing still in one pose. You have to try this if you think it might be an easy task.
I created this clay maquette in that time and this young lady has subsequently stood in several living rooms where we Monks have lived since the clay was fired in the eighties.
Subsequently the maquette became the basis of a life size sculpture I made out of interlocking MDF panels. I had no expectations of what I might do with such a piece or if it would ever be completed. It was of course a leap into the dark and all art is such an adventure if it aspires to be worthwhile.
Mrs. Monk would frequently remind me that I should produce work that we could sell in order to pay the Gas Bill. This would not be my motivation but such ideas are bound to enter the brain particularly if put there by a formidable Mrs. Monk.
So who might be attracted to such an object.
Mrs. Monk certainly had a part in the attempt to sell the piece to The Body Shop.
The late Anita Roddick considered the idea personally for some time before declining to invest in the project.
I decided that this was a very good thing because l am a serious artist and did not wish to compromise my work by allowing it to be used to display or promote stuff that smells however fragrantly, and however ethically sourced the fragrance might have been.
I should pause while I mourn the “ethical” which is swept away each day by this government.
So, my Venus became an unwanted and cumbersome object that I was bound to store away and then transport whenever we Monks moved house and we have done so three times since then.
In 2015 I felt it was time to take another leap of faith into the unknown and I started to tinker with Venus applying cardboard and glue and grandiose what-if notions.
Soon enough Mrs. Monk realised what I was up to, and once again she brought up the Gas Bill.
The Gas Bill has grown and so too has my ambition for my Venus who has no arms.
Follow the link to this Flikr set of pictures intending to explain further if you please......
Venus and the Gas Bill
Et tu Venus de Milo