Nofolk artist creates life-size statue of dead son

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Media captionThe sculpture called Mourning Use has been cast in cement and sand

An artist has created a life-size sculpture of her 18 year-old-son who died of a heroin overdose.

Annie Tempest turned to sculpting during Freddy McConnel's battle with drugs, which began when he was 13.

She has created the tribute over the past six months to help her recover from his death in May 2011.

The 6ft 1ins (1.85m) sculpture is the focal point of a memorial garden she has created at her home and studio near Fakenham, Norfolk.

The sculpture, called Mourning Use, was originally made in clay before Ms Tempest cast the statue in a mixture of cement and sand.

Image caption Freddy McConnel died of a heroin overdose in 2011

'Not in denial'

She has dressed the statue of Freddy, who was an aspiring musician, in a Moroccan djellaba, which he often wore, plus a rosary which he wore around his neck.

There are 18 beads on one side to represent his age and the crook of his arm forms a vase that can hold water and a fresh flower each day.

"I've come to the end of two years of mourning, really," she said.

"Freddy's occupying the space here that he occupied in life.

"It's not him, I'm not in denial. I know he's dead and he's not coming back, but I feel I've got somewhere I can see my Freddy now."

Ms Tempest, who is known for her cartoons, will be taking part in the Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios event.

She will be exhibiting her sculptures and the original cartoons from her weekly strip in Country Life on 25, 26 and 27 May, and 1, 2, 8 and 9 June.

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