By Andrian Melka:

Perhaps more than any other person, Captain Tom has represented hope and light during what has been an incredibly dark time in the UK. With his passing, there have been calls to celebrate and commemorate his exceptional legacy in not only raising vast sums to support the NHS, but in inspiring others to follow his lead and put one foot in front of the other and keep going throughout the Coronavirus crisis.

My portraits and figures aim to capture the essence of a person, and the image of Captain Tom with his thumb raised is how many people will remember him. The images here are of a small-scale maquette to show the design of the finished piece and I’ve also created a life-sized portrait to show the detail of the face. I’ve placed the seat on his walking frame so that it faces outwards as I’d like the seat to be used and for people to be able to interact with with the piece. I envisage the statue being just over life-sized. I would create a full-scale model in clay then create a mould so that it can be cast in bronze by the London-based foundry Bronze Age

The finished piece would be donated to a hospital or other public space either in Yorkshire, where Captain Tom was born, or Bedfordshire, where he was living when he died.

My previous public work can be seen at Chiswick House in London where I worked with English Heritage, in The Royal Gardens at Highgrove, at Bamburgh Castle where I created the figure of Christ on the cross and at St Mungo’s Church in Glasgow. To date, most of my work has been in stone but I would now like to spend more time modelling in clay to create bronze figurative pieces.

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Andrian Melka