One of three sculptures selected for the windows on each floor above the entrance to 118 on Congress Street is Caryatid II, by Maine sculptor, Sharon Townshend. It was originally shown at the Currier Museum of Art in New Hampshire.
“My work has always been inspired by nature, both in the free-standing terra cotta sculpture and the many public art relief murals I have made for Maine schools and libraries. When I work with clay I am part of an ancient continuum of artists modeling this substance into forms which are usually hollow. This interior space has been used to hold food, water, ceremonial or metaphorical meaning. My clay sculptures are created by pushing from the inside. This inner volume defines and gives life to the form.
Asked about the inspiration for the Caryatid series, Sharon said it is in part due to “the many mythologies combining human form with trees. Many cultures see the spirits within, from the Greek’s Daphne to Middle Earth’s Ents. But the caryatids are autobiographical, not in the way of a likeness or a story, but from the inside out. Imagine holding up the sky, or dancing rooted like a tree, slow and sure. They are sentinels, watchers. Bark peels, like garments, revealing smooth and vulnerable skin.”
Sharon’s studio is in South Portland. Learn more at SharonTownshend.com