Friday, November 25, 2011

‘The Return’ by René Julien

For a couple who are in love, enforced separation can be a grievous experience. They may yearn for physical contact and the sharing of mutual love by which their bond and commitment to one another can flourish.

René Julien’s bronze sculpture, ‘The Return’, captures the moment when two lovers are reunited. Whatever their status, partners or man and wife - certainly not mere acquaintances - they are overjoyed at their reunion; particularly the female who flings herself at the one she loves. He carries a portfolio under his left arm, but holds her steadily with his right arm and extended hand. Ecstatically she lifts her feet into the air. The two are sealed together in an embrace. Her hands express her joy as he tilts back his head in anticipation of the sweet touch of her lips.

At the man’s feet there are two doves engaged in an act of union, oblivious to what is happening above and of the imminent danger that threatens them.

This £50,000 sculpture by the Belgian artist was funded by the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency as part of a project to revamp Victoria Gateway Square adjacent to Southend-on-Sea’s Victoria Station. Councillors chose it from a range of sculptures because it best represented what the location was all about – a venue where people meet when returning home to Southend.

I like the sculpture, not so much for its artistic merit, but for the symbolic portrayal of unified and precious love between a man and woman. The enigmatic doves add to its charm, and they remind me of the fragility of life.

Text for the Day

Psalm 103:15, 16 ‘As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more.’


The Return by René Julien

The Return by René Julien

Sculptures of René Julien

£50,000 Sculpture for Vic Circus is revealed

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