A sculpted indigenous garden featuring more than 60 works by Dylan Lewis.

‘Shapeshifting’, an essay by Laura Twiggs

‘Where does animalkind end and humankind begin? What of the wild and the primitive within? In exploring these tantalising enigmas, Lewis searches wilderness, myth and ancient belief systems for inspiration, meaning and answers.’

'The Rising': Ian McCallum

One day your soul will call to you with a holy rage.
‘Rise up!’ it will say…

Stand up inside your own skin.
Unmask your unlived life…
feast on your animal heart.
Unfasten your fist…
let loose the medicine in your own hand.
Show me the lines…
I will show you the spoor of the ancestors.
Show me the creases…
I will show you the way to water.
Show me the folds…
I will show you the furrows for your healing.
‘Look!’ it will say…
the line of life has four paths –
one with a mirror, one with a mask,
one with a fist, one with a heart.

One day, your soul will call to you with a holy rage.

About the artist

Breaking Apart

The fragmented forms are vital markers of Lewis’s development as an artist and are important precursors of his recent exploration of the interface between human and animal forms.

Whereas the first fragmented forms were animal in nature, he has since incorporated the fragment metaphor into recent human figure work and continues to be fascinated by the idea of evoking presence through absence.

Devoid of their most distinctive animal attributes, namely the head, tail and paws, the fragments are invested with a nascent human physical quality that is particularly visible in those that are vertically positioned. The result is a disturbingly ambiguous anatomical manifestation that begins to blur the boundaries of human and animal as separate and exclusive entities.

The first Fragments date back to 2000 and arose out of a series of drawings of a decapitated leopard carcass done in 1996. Lewis had been struck by the similarity between animal and human anatomy and wished to explore the blurring of animal and human distinctions.

The idea of evoking presence through literal absence is a theme traceable back to the sculptor’s first exposure (in1990) to the huge Egyptian, Greek and Assyrian fragments on view at the British Museum, when he was struck by the evocative power of the broken form.

If the earlier healthy and functioning animal represents aspects that are wild and free, then these fragmented forms speak of the consequences of taming and destroying our animal connection to the senses.

The Silent Form. Directed by Simon Wood