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Meadows became interested in the crab motif while serving in the RAF on the Cocos Islands. This sculpture is based on the Fiddler crab, which scuttles along with both claws above its head, before disappearing into the sand. There is a human-like quality to the sinewy musculature of the raised ‘arm’. This confirms the sculptor’s identification of his animal themes as ‘human substitutes ... vehicles expressing my feelings about human beings’. It is not immediately clear whether the gesture is aggressive or defensive this ambiguity is characteristic of Meadows’ use of the theme. The scored surface of the sculpture was inspired by the markings on tribal sculptures of birds and animals which Meadows saw at the British Museum.

February 2010