The first thing you notice about Walter is that he is unnoticeable. Quiet by nature yet always thoughtful and always ready with a gentle fatherly piece of advice.
Many locals know Walter not for his sharpened quips or razor like wit, but for his openness and care and interest in other's lives, and admire him for his ability to make them feel at ease, feel better about themselves and their lot.
Walter embraces his job as the village pharmacist with great optimism dispensing medication and mediation with equal alacrity and always has time for a chat, not the fireside kind, just words of advice on self-care and self-respect. Just good old personal service. No Rotary, Lions or APEX for Walter for he is a one man show.
And oddly enough throughout his thirty seven or so years of service Walter has never felt captive in is gaily lit store, nor ever felt trapped surrounded by a multitude of Bex Powders, shampoos of all persuasions, babies and elders nappies, toothpastes and brushes, and soaps and salves, where the towns children, their parents and their parents's parents have always been welcome in the knowledge that they are in the best of hands.
Some locals comment on Walter's non participation in the community service groups and others wonder why he never married, living alone on the outskirts of town. And some unnamed others have been heard to suggest that Walter is a lone wolf disguised in sheep's costume. But for Walter this chosen solitude is his time to recharge, to get lost in his books, the favourite of which is his collection of Royal Geographic Society pamphlets and tales of wonder, and of course his music, his piano and one of a kind collection of African percussion recordings. Walter is a man content, and perhaps a man who could have played a much bigger hand, changed laws, changed people's notions of right and wrong, perhaps changed the course of history. But Walter has played his hand, the hand he saw best suited for himself and for the people of Toothless Gap.
Walter is an original sculpture by Susan Bowers created from many layers of vintage and antique textiles over clay and wire. Click here to see Walter in all his extraordinary ordinariness.