Sculpture works by Cecile Elstein

Sculpture and Portraiture:

“Influenced by childhood experience of Table Mountain, sea, sand and expansive landscapes, I work with wood, clay, bronze, rope, metal and stone. What excites me about Portraiture is the connecting flow between sitter and artist, different viewpoints, psychological insights, gestures and the sense of being aware. The moments of authentic meeting demand to be recorded. German Jewish philosopher, Martin Buber, talks about the Zulu Greeting : ‘I See You’ as an example of the shining light of consciousness that occurs when you really do see each other.

In the Sixties, I was a studio pupil of Catherine Yarrow, who was the greatest of my teachers. Through the art of clay and making of earth glazes she introduced me to Ceramics and Surrealism, her teaching method enhanced creativity by allowing the pupil to develop their practice e.g: ‘One with Another’. She offered advice to realise the character of the material.

In Cambridgeshire, I was aware of high skies, gentle old hills and wide spaces. The vast view changed when I moved a slight degree. Imagination went off on a Tangent. I felt more expansive, I stood taller and breathed deeper, I imagined myself high over the textured stubble. A sea of corn waved in the distance up and over the hill, ploughed furrows, as spatial agents. I saw this as a bird might see it. Creating the rope structure, ‘Together with Tangents’, I used this spatial awareness to create this rope sculpture in which participants were actively encouraged to engage physically.”