The Henry Moore exhibition at Kew Gardens in 2007, still leaves me with a wonderful memory. How exciting that Henry Moore returns to Kew this September – I really look forward to that.
Moore’s Mother and Child, although very abstract, evokes a strong sense of calm tenderness. Mother is portrayed holding the baby in a way that allows a safe, intimate connection with her.
I can also see the sculpture from an Alexander Technique perspective, as illustrating a common habit that many men and women have: contracting down on one side of the body and looking down with the head and neck to one side. Such patterns of contraction and mis-use can also develop when breastfeeding, writing, playing the violin or guitar, using a mouse and using a car’s gear stick, for instance.
If people habitually assume lop-sided positions, an imbalance in muscle use occurs, subjecting the vertebrae and intervertebral discs to an uneven, downward compression. This can cause neck and back pain and can eventually result in problems such as scoliosis and sciatica.
So do continue to keep a tender intimacy when you hold your child but remember to look after yourself at the same time. It is possible to learn
how to protect your back whilst performing everyday activities and observing how we are using or mis-using our bodies is a good place to start – and if a great work of art can also remind us to be aware of our own body use
, that is an unexpected bonus!
Individual AT lessons for both men and women are available on a regular basis.
Henry Moore ~ Mother and Child ~ Kew Gardens 2008