Peyton Skipwith

Cast Master

The Sculpture of F E McWilliam

By

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FE McWilliam was as independently minded a man as he was a sculptor. Although surrealist imagery plays a large part in his visual vocabulary, he always insisted that he was never a Surrealist with a capital ‘S’. Eschewing labels, he declared on one occasion in my presence: ‘If you had been born in Northern Ireland like I was you would never wish again to take on the prejudice of others.’ And the Surrealists were a bigoted lot. 

One of his most beautiful figures, Princess Macha, commissioned in 1957 for the Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry, brought forth a furious diatribe of abuse from Sir Alfred Munnings, the former President of the Royal Academy, when it was reproduced

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