Lotte the Waif

Lotte the Waif

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Lotte (or Mary), Workhouse Waif

Commissioned Sculpture For An Old Workhouse Courtyard

This yard was part of a country Hampshire workhouse between 1791 and 1834. The owner wanted a statue in memory of this, but as it would be a daily reminder, it should not be depressing. Despite the terrible conditions the poor lived in at that period, she was probably better off than her city counter-part. In reality she would probably have been an ill fed, miserable child. It was agreed however, to produce a work, which would be uplifting even on a rainy day. At the risk of being accused of sentimentality, Robert produced a sculpture of how they might have preferred to be remembered, not as they were. He has made her lean, ragged, but making the best of things with a smile.

This first cast in bronze is dressed as a girl in the workhouse before 1834. As records of the clothing worn in such places before 1834 are non-existent, Robert chose Gainsborough’s painting of a little cottage girl with puppy circa 1785 as the closest contemporary model he could find. She carries a jug to take to the local families working in the hop fields at harvest time near Alton. She lived in the same village as Gilbert White and at the same time as Jane Austen who lived nearby.

Note. Big Sister is a different version but in the same edition. She has clothing made of cloth and her foot is on a ball.

She is in a contrapposto pose and was installed in July 2002. She has already inspired two new commissions. (The original, called Mary, was stolen.)


Edition of 9

84 cm or 33 inches

Sold Out

Guide Price (see Pricing page under My Work) £9,500

You can commission something similar for the same price.

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