A present for Millie

Maurice is a British sculptor and a former President of the Royal British Society of Sculptors. He is known for his figurative male sculpture.

He was born in Amsterdam on April 21,1939. much of his art is influenced by his experience of his time in Bergen Belsen concentration camp as a young child. His father and his youngest sister were killed in Bergen Belsen.

In 2019 he was part of a BBC documentary titled “The Last Survivors. Where he spoke about the death of his little sister and how he had made a present for Millie for her 1st birthday. The story broke me heart. He spoke about when Millie died his older sister dropped the body of Millie on the pile of corpses outside of the barracks. Death should never be a part of life for any child.

“I’m not one of these artists dying to get into the studio and make the next thing, it’s always been a struggle in a way to get around my initial feelings about making a sculpture.

I mean I have to go back to when I was in the camp and I had my little sister was born there, and err, she was coming up for her first birthday, and um, I mean, obviously as you can imagine, it wasn’t somewhere where you could go and get presents and things and food was very tight you know, very hard to get hold of and anyhow, it was coming up for her birthday, and I’d found a carrot which was a bit bent, and I made it into a little boat, I’d put little sticks for masts in it and I was gonna give this to her for her birthday and I, you know I was what, five and a half or something, and I’d kept asking my mother, you know is it her birthday now, and it wasn’t and soon, not now, soon.

So this build up to when her birthday was when I could give her, her present. And err, she didn’t get there, she didn’t’ make it to her birthday, you know she died and I couldn’t give her this present, and years later when I had therapy you know, Jean, the therapist said well this was your first sculpture and in a way that’s stayed with you ever since you know and consequently I’ve put down the fact that, that it was always a struggle for me, although I wanted to make a sculpture you know it was never a lovely experience, it was a struggle, it was a torment.”




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