This week in Liverpool saw the sale of the contents of the studio of Sean Rice who died in 1997.
Statues, maquettes, wax models, paintings.
A varied selection, from strident riot police with shields, a nod to the Toxteth troubles, to the mellifluous mythic, a reference perhaps to Maurice Lambert who taught Rice in the early 1950’s.
My own favourite pieces can be viewed every day in Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Archbishop Warlock commissioned Rice to produce a series of sculptures for the Stations of the Cross. Prior to this the Stations were represented by photographs of the Vietnam War. Rice did not disappoint.
Each part of Christ’s journey is depicted in metal. Hard, unforgiving, unyielding sculptures twisted and contorted to form brutal images which are quite harrowing and breathtaking. They are magnificent, evoking sorrow and suffering. Each one more and more haunting as Christ struggles on his journey to the Cross.
If you are in Liverpool put this on your list of ‘must sees’. In situ in the Cathedral this art is remarkable. To see it scattered over a trestle table in an industrial unit in the Baltic Triangle, seemed almost sacrilege. I managed to buy a very small piece, I salvaged a part of Liverpool’s history, made by one of its most talented sons. It was astonishing that the collection wasn’t bought for/by the city. Instead a life’s work will now be scattered and disseminated. Most never to be seen again.
Please read this very interesting obituary of Sean Rice, and get yourself down to Paddy’s Wigwam. It’s Easter. You can. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-sean-rice-1283255.html