A CHILD survivor of a Nazi concentration camp has penned an uplifting autobiography – Art of Survival.

Maurice Blik, 82, is one of the most respected sculptors working in the UK, with a studio near Maldon.

He is a past president of the Royal British Society of Sculptors and well-known for his figurative male sculpture.

Born in Amsterdam in 1939 to an English mother and a Dutch father, Maurice’s early years were spent under the Nazi occupation.

At the age of four, Maurice, his pregnant mother and his sister were separated from his father and interned at Bergen Belsen concentration camp in Germany.

There they experienced the horrors of the Nazi regime at first hand.

They would also never see Maurice’s father again.

Maurice, of Great Braxted, said: “I have never been able to talk about my work because the sources were too painful for me to contemplate.

“It has taken me a lifetime to fully acknowledge the connections and to be able to take ownership of the narrative, which has liberated my work and released my internal imagery.”

The sculptor is set to publish his autobiography, Art of Survival, on January 27 to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day.

In his memoir, Maurice pieces together the fragments of his early life in a Nazi concentration camp and explores a newfound understanding of how his past has informed the sculptures for which he is known.

He provides a new perspective on his childhood experiences, exposing his life and memories in previously unpublished detail and charting his journey from a five-year-old in Bergen Belsen to becoming a celebrated sculptor.

It is an account of his life, artistic struggle and finally his triumph over adversity.

TV news reader Natasha Kaplinsky said: “Maurice’s story is so much more than a compelling contribution to the first-hand record of those dark times.”

Art of Survival is set to be published in hardback by Heavy Press Ink, priced £35.

For more information, visit mauriceblik.com.

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