58” x 16” x 14”
Bronze limited edition #1/1

The model for this sculpture, Mbuto, became like a daughter to my husband, David and I during the years of working on the original piece that I call “Mbuto’s Hopes and Dreams.” I had always wanted to re-sculpt that piece, to include her lower body, sarong, and bracelets. Then it occurred to me, that by adding the earth, she could become the means of conveying the most important “story” I have ever undertaken.

With the theme of this years Art’s Alive competition being “Balancing Act”, I felt that I needed to discuss what I consider one of the greatest balancing acts of our time: IMMIGRATION… and Mbuto was the perfect person to represent us.

Mbuto came to Canada from Africa at the age of 19 not knowing anyone! She has worked very hard while facing the many challenges that are part of the balancing act of being an immigrant. Her radiance shines through the most difficult times, as she persistently seeks out ways to fulfill her “hopes and dreams”, while trying to comprehend the best way to participate in her new country.

She is not an exception; however, she is an example of the strength and determination of many immigrants who come from different cultures, leaving their families, and all that is familiar to live in a place where they must quickly figure out how to fit in to a daunting new life, which is filled with the unknown.

’M’akhotso means Mother of Peace in Lesotho where Mbuto was born. I didn’t know this until the day that I showed Mbuto the initial design for the sculpture! Then she told me that her grandfather gave her the middle name of ‘M’akhotso when she was a baby, as her birth mended a rift in the family. Imagine my surprise at hearing that. One of the greatest catalysts for immigration is the hope for peace, and she was named “Mother of Peace”.

This sculpture represents immigrants who come from all over the world, and who are so important in building and shaping the countries that they immigrate to.

For David and I, this is a very personal piece, which speaks of our own journeys too.

‘M’akhotso (Mother of Peace) was created with the assistance of my husband David, who sculpted the world, and the expert casting of Valley Bronze in Joseph Oregon.

The rest of the sculptures in the ArtsAlive competition will be installed by June. Please be sure to vote for your favourite sculpture whichever one that might be. The peoples choice will be purchased and on permanent display. Votes are collected by both paper ballot and QR codes (ballots available in merchants shops and the municipal hall).

Side View    Facial Detail    Installed at the Oak Bay Library

Read More:  Oak Bay News    Times Colonist
See Sculpture:  Installed in Oak Bay

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