Monday, 17 October 2011

Animal Sculpture

When I'm selecting stone, preparing ideas, carving and working on an animal sculpture, my main aim is to get some likeness, liveliness and 'spirit' of the subject.  In the end it may not be created looking exactly as it does in nature, but will be characterised, and imbued with my very particular way of looking at nature.

Sometimes my mind is full of creatures and animals that don't exist, so they are entirely of my own making and imagination, drawn from all I have seen and experienced, with 'made up' parts.  I suppose this must be how the sculptor Waterhouse Hawkins worked (he is the sculptor I mentioned in my previous post) when working on his dinosaurs.  At that time, of course, natural historians did not have a full picture of exactly what the early life on earth looked like.  Fossils of bones had been found, but a great deal was assumed.

Illustration by John V. Lord from the book Dinosaurs Don't Die

I have a really delightful book, Dinosaurs Don't Die by Ann Coates.  I was given it when aged ten, for Christmas, as Ann Coates is my Godmother. 

It is a wonderful tale about a boy called Daniel who loved to go and visit the vast models of dinosaurs which stand by the lake near Crystal Palace Park.  His special favourite was the huge Iguanodon.

One night, woken by a huge splash, Daniel discovers the Iguanodon swimming about in the lake.  To his distress, Daniel finds that the dinosaur is a sad creature, very bored with being stared at by curious visitors, and the boy is only too pleased to befriend the monster and help to cheer him up.  Daniel christens the Iguanodon 'Rock' and goes to see him at night, entertaining him with tales of his ancestors, of whom Rock is extremely proud.  Daniel soon discovers that Rock's single ambition is to see one of his ancestors so that he can find out whether or not he has been made correctly.  When Daniel tells him that a dinosaur's skeleton is on show at the Natural History Museum, Rock won't be satisfied until he has seen it.  The story covers how Daniel helps Rock fulfil his ambition.

Illustration by John V. Lord from the book Dinosaurs Don't Die

 Hawkins' models of the Iguanodon mistakenly portray the large thumb spike as a nose horn; also, the dinosaurs are shown as quadrupeds rather than bipeds.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...