When we came across this figure in the woods next to the Dean Heritage Centre, I saw a rough timber sculpture of a Forest Freeminer, amongst a number of other sculptures, of dragons and wizards and wolves.
But when I raised the camera and looked through the lens I saw something more. The late afternoon sun threw into relief a furrowed face hewn from the green wood by a chainsaw and a few hundred years of toil, eyes bowed down away from the light, shoulders hunched towards the soil, the ore and the coal and the underground.
Oliver and I went to the heritage centre to learn about the freeminers, men 'born within One Hundred of St Briavels and underground for a year and a day', scratching a living by digging ore from beneath the Forest. But this guy taught us more than any museum.