Dobson trained as both a painter and sculptor, but concentrated on sculpture after active service in the First World War. Like many of his contemporaries, he found inspiration for his work in the ethnographic collections of the British Museum. He particularly admired carvings from the Congo in Africa. Such interest in what had been considered ‘less civilised’ cultures became more widespread after the ‘sophisticated’ destruction of the war.Here, in the wake of conflict, Dobson returns to fundamental human relationships. The manchild of the title melds with two female figures who seem to embody maternal protection expressing both joy and fear for the new life.