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Warrior, Ronald Moody

Wooden sculpture of a man holding arms crossed in front with a stethoscope in the shape of a bomb hanging around his neck

Ronald Moody, Warrior, 1974, Kauri wood, Purchased with support of Art Fund, V&A Purchase Grant Fund and private Donors (2021), © Ronald Moody Trust

At a glance

Artist: Ronald Moody

Date: 1974

Materials: Kauri wood

Acquisition: Purchased with support of Art Fund, V&A Purchase Grant Fund and Private Donors (2021)


Warrior is made from a New Zealand wood called Kauri which is a light honey colour. Ancient Kauri is the oldest known workable wood in the world, and considered sacred by the indigenous Mauri. Ronald Moody had been sent the wood by his nephew Harold Moody Junior, a British athlete who had emigrated to New Zealand. A self-taught sculptor, Moody is particularly known for his works of wood carving.

The figure is carefully listening using a stethoscope that is in the shape of a bomb. This refers to Moody’s reflections upon mankind’s potential for self-destruction, particularly considering the backdrop of the Cold War. Warrior was exhibited in the 1986 art exhibition Caribbean Expressions in Britain held at Leicestershire Museums & Art Gallery. It explored the work of Caribbean artists working in Britain from the 1930s.

Ronald Moody emigrated to London from Jamaica in 1923. He was a trained dentist who practiced sculpture in his spare time, using leftover plaster from work. Moody frequently visited the British Museum, taking inspiration from Ancient Egyptian sculpture and royal bronze heads from Ife, Nigeria. He was active in artist networks throughout his career, receiving regular commissions through his Society of Portrait Sculptors membership. Moody also joined the Caribbean Artist Movement in the late 1960s, which aimed to celebrate and promote the work of creatives across the Caribbean to the British public.