There has been an overwhelming response to Mo Farquharson's retrospective exhibition and the depth of love and affection shown towards her has been deeply touching. Her very good friend, Philippa Heumann, has written a warm tribute.
Mo was so very much more than the brilliant sculptress that she became. Lucky enough to meet her whilst she was still studying in America I got to know her over the following forty or more years.
She was a person of so many contrasts — outgoing, loud (!) and the soul of so many parties, she was also the quiet observer; happy in her own company but thinking all the time. Watching her work in her studio — a rare treat but one I was thrilled to do from time to time was a revelation. Her beautiful hands moulding the clay sometimes in silence, the concentration was palpable, but often continuing to chatter. However, never losing the thread of creation. The studio would be strewn with sketches — some of which graduated to works of art in themselves and others that were the basis of her sculptures. She carried her talent so lightly but there was absolutely no doubting her commitment.
She had the gift of friendship — granted to few but she had it in spades. It was a miracle that she had time for so many of us and my, how she could laugh. The best company and always game for the next outing, jaunt or adventure on the other side of the world. She cherished her friends far and wide and indeed was cherished by them. In spite of, but maybe because of her rather dodgy health she seized every opportunity with both hands. Whether it was going down the Zambezi (which she confessed in hindsight had been mad) or travelling through South America and all points East and West she revelled in every experience she had. By the same token, there were times when she had to face her ill health head on and she never flinched. A casual comment about ‘some procedure’ was all you got and she was on to the next thing. A quiet courage in the face of so many obstacles.
Her modesty about some of her commissions was legendary and very annoying when she wouldn’t divulge who she was working for! It was never false modesty though — she was justly proud of what she had achieved and ambitious for more.
We, in the South, missed her so much when she decided to spend more time in her beloved Aberdeenshire. She was a wonderful friend to ‘play with’ in London but her heart was in the North.
What a spirit was contained in that tiny frame. She made every minute worth living not only for herself but for those who she loved and loved her. By turns, stubborn, uncompromising, wayward and humorous she was one of the kindest and warm hearted people I have ever known.
Philippa Heumann, May 2022