Renowned sculptor Anthony Scott has just opened an exhibition entitled Hunter/ Hunted at the Solomon Gallery, Dublin.
Consisting of 14 exceptional bronzes, the majority of which were created between 2021 and 2022, and based on the theme of the predator and his prey, which playwright and critic Brian McAvera in his catalogue forward notes suggested has biblical links. “Expelled from Eden, Man is forced to become a hunter, even training animals to kill for him.”
Drawing on Celtic mythology and literature where animals played a central role, the artist has skilfully captured through his stylised sculptural language striking human figures depicting hunters, warriors and majestic animals.
For me, four works perfectly capture the story of the exhibition, starting with Bres, a richly cast bronze of a wild boar. Bres in Irish mythology was King of the Tuatha De Danann, the origins of his name possibly being derived from uproar and fight.
Naoise is a considered and poised bronze of a bull with his front leg raised slightly indicating an impending explosion of strength. The piece was perhaps conceived as an allegory for Naoise, who appears in the Táin Bó Cúailgne (Cattle raid of Cooley).
The third piece, Fergus Hunter, merges both the human and animal in bronze, with a man seated on a horse. It has echoes of Marino Marini’s Il Pellegrino, but its true source of inspiration comes from Fergus MacRoich, former King of Ulster. Tricked out of the kingship and betrayed by Conchobhar Mac Nessa, he becomes the ally and lover of Conchobhar's enemy, Queen Medb of Connacht, and joins her expedition against Ulster in the Táin Bó Cúailgne.
Lastly is the Elk (study), an elegant bronze of the now extinct animal which may be a cautionary tale for over hunting.
Anthony Scott is a member of the Royal Ulster Academy. He has been a regular annual participant at the Royal Hibernian Academy and has exhibited extensively in Ireland, Britain and at numerous international art fairs. In 2011, the late Queen Elizabeth II unveiled a new sculpture entitled See the Stars by Scott at the Irish National Stud in Kildare during her state visit to Ireland.
Hunter/Hunted runs until October 20 at Solomon Fine Art, Balfe Street, Dublin. See: solomonfineart.ie