Her name is Layla.  A name that immediately conjures up romance and mystery.  If your eyesight is sharp enough, she is seated way beyond on the rocky outcrop, somewhere in the middle.  She does not move and her immobility catches my eye.  I drive around from Prevelly Beach, surfing mecca, to Rivermouth.  I inch closer, mesmerised by the bronze sculpted by Russell Sheridan.  Naked, calm, serene even, as the previously blue sea churns, froths and foams milky waves around her.  I’m not sure about the symbolism and I find nothing while researching it.  Perhaps, Sheridan has left it open to personal interpretation.

I approach her side on.  There is something exquisitely powerful, yet gentle about her.  Angular in face, stern, ordinary, her limbs in bronze are softened by motherhood.  She cradles the baby whale with ease.  Her profile is relaxed.  Her feet neatly crossed at the ankles.  The baby is weightless as it nuzzles at her breast.

Plain and simple, she is mother.

I love sculpture.  It is tactile.  Evocative.  And, every so often, I stumble upon something that is monstrous in size, yet it has the delicacy, the poise, of a mermaid.  A place to revisit.  For sure.

Until next time,

As always,

a dawn bird


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