THAT ART IS – ‘the manifestation of some vital force coming from the dark, caught by the imagination and translated by the artist’s ability and skill’. Seemingly influenced by Carl Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious, Chadwick saw the sources of art as essentially mysterious. The critic Herbert Read said that Chadwick’s sculptures were ‘symbolic icons’ retrieved from the depths of the human psyche.
The figures in this sculpture are hybrids, made up of bird, reptile, insect and human forms. The erotic overtones of the work complement its primal themes.
Chadwick made a series of works like this on different scales; the largest is 90 inches (228 cm) high. It stands a little like a human figure or an animal but resists any direct association with a particular living creature. It is brilliantly ambiguous in its suggestive forms: the iron rods could be seen as ribs or as some sort of cage. The chunk of glass gives it a mystical or ritualistic feel, while its title suggests a psychological dimension.