Amateur Buxton artist shares Covid themed sculpture to inspire hope for life beyond lockdown

An amateur artist from Buxton has unveiled a new sculpture which he hopes will send a message of hope to anyone struggling through the pandemic.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 2:50 pm
Updated Friday, 12th March 2021, 3:07 pm

Hogshaw Villas Road resident Joe Delli-Colli, 63, has spent several weeks crafting the Tiers of Covid from clay and composing the accompanying poem on life beyond lockdown.

He said: “I wanted to show people there’s life at the end of the tunnel, and create a reminder of what we all went through for years to come.

“This won’t last forever. One day we will breathe clean air without any masks, and be free to enjoy to life again without fear of contamination.”

The sculpture symbolises the sense of freedom which many hope will return once the threat of the pandemic has subsided.

Now retired, Joe enjoyed a long career in the engineering sector but has always dabbled privately in creative pursuits.

He said: “I’ve not had any formal training but art is something you can pick up all through your life. I’m always sketching and painting and I love working with clay.

“During lockdown, it’s been a good way to pass the time and make myself feel a bit better. I like to relate to other people through art, and whatever is happening in the world.”

He added: “I don’t usually exhibit my work, I show it to family and friends, but I thought this was worth sharing under the circumstances, maybe to raise other people’s spirits.”

Amateur artist Joe Delli-Colli.

The idea for the sculpture initially involved a rollercoaster theme, representing the ups and downs of the past year but gradually simplified into the form of a woman delighting in the scent of fresh flowers.

The original inspiration is still present in the poem though, with lines such as “Don’t let go, hold on tight. The journey will slow and reach an end. Don’t be scared, don’t despair.”

Joe said: “I’m not a poet by any means, but I just had these lines in my head and wrote it down. If you don’t try something, you never know.”

The figure of the woman was sculpted from air-drying clay over a period of weeks.

Joe said: “Compared to everything else that’s going on, it wasn’t so much of a challenge but you never know how it’s going turn out.”