In these latest works Don Paterson draws on the land, his immediate environ, as inspiration. The bronzes impart a strong sense of North Otago and the powerful creatures that could reside within our immediate surrounding.

They conjure images of domesticated creatures and powerful animals still untamed within the wild.

The hunter and hunted are both represented, in honourable fashion.

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Each piece is also an encapsulation of the concept of ‘myth’, of stories retold, tales of power animals, that each of us can identify with in our own lives.

The bronzes are akin to keepers of the myth. Pioneers, seekers, carry with them the myths of their past and the new lands they visit become suffused with the power of the old tales.

New creatures are admitted to this mythic pantheon – the works resonate with their own stories and invite the viewer to revisit and extend their personal and bloodline histories.

The viewer is presented with a sense of movement toward the future through the exaggerated limbs of the pieces, implying a reaching beyond the present time – they arch subtly yet ever-increasingly towards a new future…where the line between the hunter and prey becomes blurred.

Each draws upon the energy and strength of the other. The hunter shows great respect for his mighty quarry, and the sheer strength of the wild beast is implicit in the bronzes.

Every player takes their place in this new Mythos.

The works pose questions – are we observing the evolution of our wild creatures? or are we observing ourselves? seeing our own mingling with the essence of these animals.

Anthropomorphism…the animals are imbued with traces of humankind.

There is a sense of the warrior spirit, poised figures ready for battle, or perhaps standing triumphant. We are left wondering whether the battle is with a tangible foe, or is instead an internal struggle, an heroic tussle for dominance over the dictates of the mind, or some other obscure foe.

There are many perceived threats in any new land, and the greatest victory of all is the one gained over self as we attempt to redefine ourselves in a new place, and reshape that which is unfamiliar into a rich new tale, filled with meaning and sense of belonging.

The process, that of casting in bronze, ensures that the art works will last for many generations. They will gather their own myths and tales as they are handed down throughout families.