Chaim’s powerfully observed sculpture of this wild animal, typically howling into the wind, is likely to be inspired by the Golden Jackal commonly seen in the Middle East. While instantly recognizable as such, the Jackal is highly stylised. Anatomically elongated, the lines of the animal are angular, described without softening curves, with the exception of the swirling tail, which hugs the body. The surface is roughened to suggest fur, again without any sense of softness, and yet the sculpture remains hugely tactile, its lower back beautifully ridged like the veins of a leaf.
The renowned sculptor Chaim Stephenson had an extraordinary life. Originally 'Harry', the child of Russian immigrants, he was born in 1926 in Liverpool. After the local Jewish school, he was recruited into the mines as one of the' Bevin Boys'. In 1947 he changed his name to Chaim and joined a group of Jewish people who, having learnt to farm in England, set up a Kibbutz in Palestine. When the state of Israel was declared, Claim joined the Palmach and fought in the first Arab-Israeli war. Later he became a shepherd and gardener in a kibbutz in Galilea and for the next 21 years, in any spare time, he taught himself to sculpt, working in clay, wood, plaster and poured concrete.
In the 60s he studied under Willi Soukop in England and met his wife, the novelist Lynne Reid Banks. They lived with their young family in Palestine for nine years until returning to England where Chaim became a full-time sculptor. His work is in private collections around the world and a striking example is prominently placed in St Martin’s-in-the-Fields, London.
More of this talented sculptor's works are on display in our lovely Burford Art Gallery.
Materials: Cold cast bronze resin, suitable for indoors or outside
Dimensions (approx.): H:86cm, W: 53cm, D:30cm
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