T00594 OWL 1961–2
Polyphant stone, 16 1/2×12×12 (42×30·5×30·5), on circular slate base, 10 1/4 (26) diameter×1 (2·5).
Chantrey Purchase from the artist 1963.
Exh: R.A., 1963 (1233).
The artist wrote (8 September 1963) that the block of polyphant stone from which the ‘Owl’ was carved had been standing in his studio for years and came from a now disused quarry at St Austell, Cornwall. The carving was carried out over a period of two years, 1961–2, and began as a doodle, perhaps suggested in part by the presence of a resident owl in the sculptor's London garden. The medium lent itself to smooth, precise shapes, clean and inviting to the touch, and made a welcome contrast to the rough-textured stone the sculptor had been working on previously.
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II