A revelation in wood

Last weekend I met the American wood-carver David Esterly at a friend’s party. David told me the story of how he came to leave academia and become a highly accomplished wood-carver. He was doing a PhD in the history of art, and then one day was walking down Piccadilly Circus, and he went into St James’ Church. There, he saw a wood carving by Grinling Gibbons on the reredos. David says seeing this wood carving was something like a revelation. Like a powerful, intense and full-body experience of artistry and creativity. And it inspired him to leave academia and become a wood-carver himself. Below is the carving from that church in Piccadilly.

Here’s a detail.

David also has a strong interest in ancient Greek philosophy. He told me he is fascinated by how Stoicism flourished in 17th century France, and particularly how it influenced the art of Poussin. One of his favourite paintings, he said, was Poussin’s painting of Diogenes, throwing away his wooden cup when he sees a boy drinking water from a river using his hand. ‘He loses the cup, his last possession, but he gains that whole incredible landscape behind him.’


  • Tim Baber says:

    Google if you will, “How tall was Mengele”.
    I researched for my own paper (msbnews) , a local theme park and that led to Monarch Programming and for you everything in the homepage under index “A” will find the result I published in 2003. It made sense but the only corroboration I got was an old german guy decking me in a tobacconists. Mengele was s said to be a big noise in trauma based Monarch . He was so important to the West we were told he “died” six times after the war to throw off attention. But in 2002, he at 93 although fit and smart his height at 5 foot 2 ish was what saved him. It took me 10 years to work out he was the same person. Loads of people worry about MP. Very little evidence that stands up. But I will always remember not what I found out, but that no-one would believe me when I told what I actually saw, and felt, and heard. My country. Right or Wrong?
    May I predict something? It might be discovered his last few years (arguably after 2002 and say 2008) were spent in a luxury vila in Mougins now operated for rentals by his retired lawyer son Rolf.
    Within a taxi ride from Cannes the favoured celebrities that are the metaphorical and actual clothes horses for monarch programming could have met their most challenging puppetmaster? Tim Baber

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