No, it’s not the start of a terrible joke – rather, it’s a description of the latest work by Jersey-based artist, sculptor and tutor Raewyn Riva.
Titled Everyday Contentment, the sculpture depicts an elderly man sitting in a chair and has been created by the artist using nothing but old copies of the Jersey Evening Post and Gallery magazine.
‘It was inspired by a man I took a picture of in my hometown of Whitehaven, Cumbria,’ she said. ‘I used to see him sitting in his deckchair on the pavement, watching the world go by. I never asked his name, but, for me, his image is loaded with feelings of homely contentment.’
In total, Everyday Contentment – or ‘Eddie’ as Ms Riva has nicknamed the sculpture – took three weeks to complete, with her working on the life-sized effigy in between teaching Mencap Taking Part Making Art workshops.
‘I always appreciate exploring scale in art but producing work in Jersey comes with logistical issues when shipping potentially dangerous chemicals,’ said the mother-of-two. ‘Paper gives me a short cut way of producing large scale work with no complications.’
The sculpture was made in collaboration with St Brelade’s Bay Hotel, outside of which Eddie will be residing throughout the summer.
‘Rosden Glass Fibre provided 18 coats of lacquer to protect him against harsh weather,’ added Ms Riva.
A former secondary school teacher, Ms Riva initially found work sculpting models in clay and wax for a company producing merchandise for Disney, before then becoming a freelance sculptor producing work for local clients and galleries in Cumbria. ‘I visited my friend in Jersey in 2005 and, deciding I needed fresh inspiration, I moved over to the Island to try to produce work here,’ she said.
She subsequently spent five years working with the Jersey Arts Trust, as well as helping to establish Skipton Open Studios – which is currently displaying some of her work on Beresford Street – and assisting local artists on issues such as the States of Jersey’s Percentage for Art Scheme.
For now, however, Ms Riva said she is keen to continue creating her papier-mâché statues.
‘I think portraiture will probably always fascinate me,’ she said. ‘Paper has a quality I would like to explore much further, especially with some of the beautiful faces in St Ouen.’