sculpture by Shona Nunan

African Head

Shona Nunan


bronze edition of 8 (second state)

76 x 25 x 14 cm


catalogue number SNS60

‘African Head’ is one of the pieces I created in my studio in Ortonovo in Italy in 1984, in the hills above Carrara.  I was twenty four, a new mother, not long out of college, and this was my declaration to the world that I was an artist. Going to Italy to create in the mountains of Michaelangelo became one of the first great commitments of my life. I had a studio in the upstairs room of the tiny house we rented, our baby went to creche and Michael carved marble in Carrara. I was inspired by amazing trips to Florence and Pisa. On one of our trips we saw an African exhibition where a beautiful Nigerian head influenced this sculpture. I loved the carved dots in the head to represent hair, the serene beauty, simplicity and elegance. The original of this sculpture in plaster was too fragile to mould as I wanted to retain it in its original form. So I did a second state of this sculpture years later in response to enquiries made of it.