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The Miner's Kitchen (1973)

Description:

Handel Edwards is a sculptor working solely in wood. He was born in Birchgrove near Swansea in South Wales, and was the son of a miner. After leaving school at the age of fourteen he began to work in the building trade as a plasterer. At the age of forty-eight he began woodcarving at which he is entirely self-taught. In all his work his aim is to express his innermost thoughts and feelings. During 1984 he was artist in residence at the Glyn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea. His work has been included in numerous exhibitions in England and Wales. Writing about this work the sculptor commented (letter of 28 April 1978 to the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London) that it depicted a typical domestic interior of a mining family in Wales during the nineteen twenties and thirties. It was, he said, in such an environment that he spent his childhood and youth, and the experience created in him strong conflicting emotions which he had endeavoured to convey in his art. Edwards does not make preliminary drawings or studies for his sculpture (letter of 7 October 1987), but rather formulates the composition in his mind before beginning to carve directly in the wood. The technique of combining divers episodes within the composition, as here, is common in his work. This piece was included in a film on Edwards in a series entitled, "Everyone a Special kind of Artist," made in 1983 by Riverfront Pictures for Channel Four. Previously it had been mentioned in Critics Forum, BBC Radio Three, 13 May 1978.