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Shepherds in the Landes region in the south of France used stilts to help them see over the areas of scrub and marshland where their sheep grazed. In Richier’s sculpture the shepherd figure has become one with its stilts, achieving an insect-like adaptability. Its head is cast from a piece of eroded building rubble that Richier found on the beach. Her sculptures frequently combine human and animal forms, striking a chord with the bleak image of humanity prevalent in Europe after the Second World War.

July 2012