Twenty-five years ago this term, Wellington College was shrouded in snow just as it has been recently. This inspired student Edward Foulds (Blücher 1991-96) to create a remarkable piece of artwork which is still at the centre of College life today.
Braving the cold, Ed ventured out in the dark after a heavy snowfall and lay face down in the snow to create an impression of himself. The mould was then filled with plaster to form a life-size human figure. Due to the unstable nature of the snow, the plaster fragmented as it set and resulted in a piece eerily reminiscent of the partial ash figures at Pompeii, which Ed christened ‘Golem.’
Encouraged by this partial success, Ed turned to clay to form another impression of himself with arms outstretched. Plaster was again used to fill the mould, and iron filings were added in the hope they would in time rust and in doing so give the piece an aged look. The cast was reinforced with iron rods, meaning that it held together and resulted in a complete figure which Ed called ‘Crucifix.’ This unique sculpture has been displayed on the north wall of the College Chapel ever since.
Prior to creating the Crucifix, Ed had been working a lot with moulding and sculpting techniques, inspired by such artists as Marcel Duchamp, Rachel Whiteread and Anthony Gormley. He credits the ‘brilliant’ Wellington art teacher Richard Gilbert with encouraging and helping him to bring the piece to fruition.
Few who have seen the statue regularly in Chapel over the past 25 years will be aware of its story, so we are grateful to Ed for being willing to share these details.