For as long as I can remember, I have been entranced by the victorious silhouette of the La Pasionaria sculpture that guards the city of Glasgow. On the banks of the Clyde, she has always been a strong and dramatic sprit, both her arms aloft as she punches the sky. As a child, I viewed her as a youthful Glaswegian version of The Statue of Liberty, but it was only as I grew older that I discovered who this woman is and why she's here.
La Estatua de La Pasionaria was erected in honour of the Spanish Communist Party's socialist heroine, Dolores Ibárruri – better known as La Pasionaria, or The Passionflower. Her presence commemorates the Scottish volunteers who fought against fascism in the Spanish Civil War with the plaque on the plinth below emblazoned with the cry that it is “better to die on your feet than live forever on your knees.”
In these troubling times, I find La Pasionaria a comfort and an enduring inspiration, both of which I have attempted to convey in this new work. I'm glad she watches over our city.
Limited edition prints of this painting will soon be available in the online shop.