Project Description

Life Monument

A colossal  bronze  sculpture depicts the mother  and a world  shaped womb  with the  child in the center.  The sculpture  has  an organic  design that uses the drapery forms to draw the viewer’s attention to the center of the work. This  center  world/womb  area is created  out of mirrored steel  that reflects the  surrounding world and viewers of the art.  The viewers of the sculpture literally see themselves in the center of the work, symbolizing their connection to this creative source.

“Women hold the world in their womb”; sculpture reflects the beauty of human life.

Written by  Lisa Bourne

“Beauty will save the world,” the famous maxim from a book by Russian novelist and philosopher Fyodor Dostoevsky, is a thought to which Tim Schmalz assents.

If beauty can save the world, it can also persuade, Schmalz says. And he hopes the message from his forthcoming mother and child sculpture will be a healing element for the world, while also reclaiming the beauty and sacredness of human life.

“Because we have to persuade with beauty,” Schmalz said. “If I can use my talent to persuade people, then I’m going something good. I’m doing something positive.”

Timothy P.  Schmalz is a Canadian sculptor based in Ontario. His work is figurative in style, and his pieces have been commissioned and installed across the world, including historical churches in Rome and at the Vatican. Schmalz has created large public monuments for civic entities, but most of his work is spiritual in nature, and he has a special place in his heart for sculptures conveying respect for life.

Schmalz told Pregnancy Help News he uses sculpture as a form of prayer around religious holidays, and when he sculpts, he prays as each piece of clay is added.

The mother and child sculpture Schmalz is working on began as one of his numerous inspirations to celebrate life in sculpture and it has become a larger project using his art to bring a life-affirming message into numerous arenas.

“I want the focus on the beauty of life,” Schmalz said of the sculpture, “emphasis on the idea of celebrating life.”

The National Life Monument will celebrate the miracle of life and the woman at the center of that miracle via a colossal bronze sculpture depicting the mother and a world-shaped womb with the unborn child in the center.

The sculpture has an organic design that uses the drapery forms to draw the viewer’s attention to the center of the work, according to the artist’s description.

The center of the world-shaped womb area is created out of mirrored steel that reflects the surrounding world and the viewers of the art, so they will see themselves in the center of the work, symbolizing their personal connection to the miracle of the creation of human life.

“Every line of the piece is designed in a way to pull you into that space,” Schmalz told Pregnancy Help News. “It’s not only a sculpture of the unborn, it’s a sculpture of everyone who sees it.”

“People will literally see themselves within that womb,” he said. “You see yourself, that’s powerful. Everyone that is walking this planet came from that place.”

“People will literally see themselves in that womb. You see yourself, that’s powerful. Everyone walking this planet came from that place”

The original Life Monument is installed in San Marcello al Corso Basilica in Rome and the first colossal version will be installed facing the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. It will be located on the campus of the Theological College, which is owned and operated by the religious Society of Saint-Sulpice. Schmalz would ultimately like to see it and the message that life is beautiful elsewhere in the world as well.

  He had originally planned for versions of the work to be installed in cities around the world, and still does, with hopes the sculptures will be in proximity of the respective state capitols.

“To have that constant reminder, you can’t deny the reality of that, the message is always being presented,” Schmalz said.

“The idea is to get this sculpture where people can see it,” he said.

It’s not often that you see sculptures that celebrate life, Schmalz notes, and this latest work celebrates the beginning of human life, the creation of humanity.

His goal, he said, is to have the most jaded person say, ‘That’s beautiful.’

“When they say that’s beautiful, what are they really saying?” Schmalz asked. “If they say that about the sculpture, then they can say that about the subject.”

The art is the skin around the idea, he added, saying as well, “If I can subtly persuade people by the use of beauty then I’m doing a good job.”

He acknowledges that the task to persuade those who are cynical about life, to warm them to the idea of its sacredness is complex.

Artwork, and sculpting, in particular gives form and visibility to what is often invisible, Schmalz told Pregnancy Help News.

The mother and child piece shows what is unseen – the living human being within the woman.

“That’s the best tool I can use, if I can do anything, is to help people see what is often invisible,” Schmalz said.

The woman in the sculpture can be interpreted as the Virgin Mary or as any woman. Along with life, the work celebrates women and the spiritual power they have in creating, surrounding and sheltering human life within them.

“What a compliment to women,” Schmalz said, “that they hold the world in their womb.”