27 April 2024

A mother - in white, with her dead child in Iraq. A scupture - with words - by May Ayres

A mother - in white, with her dead child in Iraq. A sculpture - with words - by May Ayres

May Ayres is an artist, who with her small frame, 'stands high' in our tortured world. Her draughtmanship and her sculpting in stone ware is exceptional in conveying the essence of human evil and the most terrible suffering flowing from that evil.

As I have said to her - her work will not be in the Tate with bisected sharks in formalin, with gliteratti gathered about adding thousands of dirty pounds by talking up the merits before them. But - by hook or by crook, we must make sure May's work and life will be there for many generations to come.



Despite the West’s brutal invasion of Iraq in 2003, a nation already bruised and broken by the sanctions regime of the
1990’s, there remains a grass-roots resistance that we in the UK rarely hear about, one which actively, non-violently
struggles to resist oppressive forces.

The Iraqi people refuse to be ‘pacified’ despite decades of imperialist domination. A photograph of an Iraqi mother holding aloft her child
who has just been killed inspired me.
The mother’s expression and posture in that photo conveyed along with her unspeakable grief, a defiance, a refusal to be
made a victim. In building this sculpture I tried to express that spirit.

For all the death and destruction wreaked on their beautiful civilization, the Iraqi people have rebuilt and they will rebuild
again. They will free their country from the Western invaders.

I completed this sculpture in 2019 and named it Collateral Damage. Yet the relentless slaughter of innocent civilians cross the globe
continues to this day led by Western superpowers greedy for land, resources and power.

And now we witness the blatant genocide in Gaza cheered on by the same Western psychopaths who send weapons and military support to
Israel to assist in the slaughter. The Iraqi mother stands tall as a symbol of defiance in the face of unimaginable horror.

She is a Palestinian mother, she is a symbol of all the innocent men, women and children across the globe who
refuse to be defeated. I have renamed the sculpture ‘Defiance’

May Ayres 2024