In the year of the centenary of the outbreak of World War One, this outstanding work of art by distinguished sculptor Sioban Coppinger FRBS has been having a profound effect on visitors to Echoes in the Memory, The Garden Gallery's current exhibition.
Made from bronze laurel leaves with a steel base, the sculpture is 1.75 metres tall. Sioban Coppinger says, "Blown Away is a study of a moment. The young man, his life fleeting as a gust of laurel leaves, he sees the whole world in a glance.
I have been giving thought to how we cherish memories of past lives, and the stories which make our histories. How do we remember a beloved person, or a particularly happy or rewarding time in our lives? How do we hold this remembrance and keep the flame alive? The cycle of life is affirmed in nature. Trees lose their leaves reminding us of impermanence and mortality, but they are reborn from the cold and the dark, assuring us of the continuity of life.
“I remember reading a story as a kid in Japan ... it was from the folktales of Oita, the region in which I was brought up and the story was about a guy, a priest, who decided to carve a passage through a mountain because travellers kept falling to their deaths from the treacherous path which ran along the cliff edge. I think it took him over twenty years. I remember being hugely impressed with the idea that one person could even think to carve through a mountain. I later visited the passageway where the marks of his chisels could still be seen ...