Wildebeest

2006
Steel
85 x 200 x 100 cm
Edition of 1

Appearing out of the greenery, Wildebeest reveals itself. More commonplace wandering the plains of the African Savannah than a wooded copse in rural England, this statuesque beast with its curved ox-like horns and bearded chin evokes a sense of maturity, of wisdom. In this instance what has been realised is not a precise replica of what one might see on a safari, but a form that is constructed from seeming industrial components in an equally industrial material, giving the creature an armoured appearance - perhaps a subliminal commentary on the urbanisation of the wildebeest's native Africa.The suggestion of retrospect is not only a facet of the Wildebeest's face but also in the way that its body expresses itself. The head openly looks back, whilst the rest seeks to go forwards, its long neck curving to enable it to see where it had once been, broadening the space within it resides through its gaze. This migratory mammal instigates a literal and philosophical tension; wanting to move forwards yet simultaneously evaluating the past.

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About The Artist

Ackroyd's work tends to be of animal subject matter, however, the pieces can sometimes 'hover' on the edge of abstraction. Space and line are as important and as positive an element as the material itself. These sculptures are in steel and occasionally cast into bronze, and range from a 60cm cricket to a larger than life wildebeest containing over a ton of steel! It is not her aim to produce a simple representation of an animal but to use all the insights of abstraction to capture the essence of the animal in line and space. She also produces abstracts and this crossover between the two is a testament to her skills.

Jane Ackroyd

Born: 1957