As a previous studio assistant of Henry Moore, Bernard Meadows was influenced greatly by his sculptural mentor but worked hard to distance himself and created many notable pieces in his own right.
Black Crab is a bronze cast sculpture showing a distorted and viscously sharp figure of a crab, this piece is likely the cause of Herbert Read’s review description that helped make the Geometry of Fear group memorable.
*”These new images belong to the iconography of despair, or of defiance; and the more innocent the artist, the more effectively he transmits the collective guilt. Here are images of flight, or ragged claws ‘scuttling across the floors of silent seas’, of excoriated flesh, frustrated sex, the geometry of fear.”*
The quotation used from T.S Elliot’s Prufrock seems to be applied to Black Crab as ‘*scuttling across the floors of silent seas’*.
The piece was inspired by Meadows time in the RAF when stationed in the Coco’s (Keeling) islands in the South Indian Ocean, this time would influence much of his work. Meadows created many works based on animals, often slightly anthropomorphic in nature. Alan Bowness, the critic and art historian, believed the sculptor’s work was ‘not so much that he was interested in animals for their own sakes, but as vehicles for the human figure’.
When making animal based work throughout the year i have largely focused on the more decorative side of sculpture, the intention has often been to create something universal and slightly more commercial than the rest of my practice. This has been useful, both for financial reasons and as a way of gaining more practical experience. I intend to continue making this type of sculpture for practical reasons but i plan on adding more depth and emotion to the work i create, so it fits as both a financial design and one that brings personal satisfaction.