Chris Wadsworth
Percy Kelly - Looking East to the Ennerdale Fells
Writer and Art Consultant

3rd April 2013

TEDDY BOY AND TEDDY GIRL

After a bright but  bitterly cold Easter, there is still thick snow on the ground in places up here but at last the daffodils have broken through. Jane Smith's magic dragon - a ceramic sculpture in three parts - is now happily settled in after his journey from the terrace at Castlegate as you see from the photograph.

Large sculptures always look better in the open. Last week we went to Blackwell, the Arts and Craft House above Lake Windermere to see sculpture as it should be seen - in the formal garden against the backdrop of lake and fells. There are four Lynn Chadwick pieces there; Stairs appropriately at the entrance, Roaring Lion on the lawn and High wind and Sitting Couple on the terrace. He got so much movement in heavy chunks of meta - not easy to achievel.

We carried on a few miles to Abbot Hall in Kendal where the rest of the Chadwick exhibition is beautifully displayed inside. Having been greeted by the shining faces and breastplates of the Three Electras in the entrance hall, I was delighted to see my absolute favourite Chadwick upstairs in the main gallery.

I've bought and sold many of Chadwick's bronzes during the last 25 years at Castlegate House but this version of Teddy Boy and Teddy Girl is on my dream wish list. It is an abstracted piece, deeply marked and pitted, which embodies the stance, the attitude and confidence of the pair of figures. I suppose I relate to it because it represents happy days when I was a carefree rock and roll teenager roaring around London on the back of a motor bike, wearing impractical girly sticky-out skirts. But ownership is likely to remain just a dream. I would have to sell the house/car/cat to buy this pair and then would be in constant fear of metal thieves stealing into the garden at dead of night, of waking up to find, bingo, they are gone for ever. Apart from that we would have some bemused sheep and a confused farmer peering over the fence. A dragon is bad enough!

Chadwick died ten years ago just before his big retrospective at Tate Britain but he is very much alive in the film that is also showing in the gallery, making and talking about his sculpture at Lypiatt Park, his home in Stroud. Many of his sculptures are on www.lynnchadwick.com and the 1957 version of Teddy boy and Teddy girl as well as images of many other pieces in this show can be seen on http://www.osbornesamuel.com/lynnchadwick

 

 

 

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