20 March - 25 April 2009

One sunny morning about a year ago I was walking my dog Molly in the field below the house.

I was familiar with Molly's form for she had been the subject of many drawings and sculpture in the past. On that day however I could only marvel at how every bone, muscle and hair in her body worked towards the same end… the hunt.

Then I watched the rabbit, first freezing, hoping that standing perfectly still in the reeds would be enough to protect it from its predator.

The moment came for both, the split second instinct of fight or flight. Molly lurched into a full speed chase and the rabbit fled to its burrow.

In the case of dog and rabbit there is no uncertainty, one is predator and the other prey. They evolved to be that way. Sometimes one will win, sometimes the other and the balance of nature is maintained.

Fight or flight is not always so simple for an animal can be both predator and prey. Even the meekest creature can put up a fight against a larger aggressor and without the advantages of the born hunter can scare it off through sheer determination.

This exhibition is an observation of the moment of flight or fight in the animal kingdom, a time when the tension between predator and prey and their evolved qualities are at their most attuned.

There are thousands of animals to choose from to tell this story so I have included some of our most endangered species as a reminder of how precarious their existence is in these times of human domination of the planet.


Helen Denerley, March 2009