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Questions for Job (first version) martin-wenham-questions-for-job-1st-version-77520.jpg_product
Questions for Job (first version) Questions for Job (first version) Questions for Job (first version) Questions for Job (first version) Questions for Job (first version) Questions for Job (first version)

Questions for Job (first version)

Item Code: MW-77520-s
Wood and acrylic
Date of Work
Height (cm)
Width (cm)
Base price $2,969
The idea for this work came from seeing a steep bank where the earth had collapsed, revealing an intense rusty colour of iron minerals. The thought occured to Wenham that, acording to cosmologists, every atom of iron in the soil (and in you, and the Earth as a whole) was created billions of years ago in the core of a star which then exploded, scattering material into the void. This connected with verses from the Book of Job, Chapter 38, which Wenham had been reading a little time before. The questions carved here are only two of many which God asks of Job, and are found in verses 4 and 8. There is no shortage of twentieth-century answers to them, from A.E.Housman to Joni Mitchell.

This first version is on five pieces of holly wood from Uppingham, which Wenham cut by hand, very inexpertly, from the same short log. Acrylic colour was sponged on and the letters cut through this into the white wood beneath. Mounted on bases of sycamore, they can be arranged in a variety of ways to please the viewer.

Piece 1 of 5: 35 x 18.5 cm
Piece 2 of 5: 35 x 20 cm
Piece 3 of 5: 35.5 x 20.5 cm
Piece 4 of 5: 35.5 x 20.5 cm
Piece 5 of 5: 34.5 x 14 cm.

Featured in Martin Wenham: The Art of Letter Carving in the Wood, by Martin Wenham, 2022.

A free copy of Martin Wenham’s new book Martin Wenham The Art of Letter Carving, published by Crowood Press (price £25), will accompany each purchase from the exhibition.
Martin Wenham PortraitBorn in 1941, Wenham’s interest in lettering was stimulated at an early age. At university Wenham read botany and forestry, his artistic propensity aiding with precise observational drawing. Throughout this time an interest in pen-lettering persisted and after a research colleague requested a carved house-name in wood Wenham approached the professional carver Harry Spring, who showed him the basic technique of letter-cutting.

After a year Wenham left research and for the next 23 years taught in secondary, primary and special schools, with 9 years’ lecturing at the University of Leicester. He first exhibited his letter-cutting work in 1982; since 1984 it has been shown in the major British exhibitions of lettering arts. Wenham’s work is held in the Crafts Council’s Permanent Collection and in private collections in Britain, the USA, Germany, Japan and Puerto Rico.
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