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Free Standing Sculpture

 BALLET RAMBERT

"Cregeen’s close and sustained professional contact with the United Kingdom’s leading dance company, Ballet Rambert, over a number of years when he first moved to London has remained a lasting influence on his sculpture. Whether in a portrait or a figure, even when apparently still, movement is revealed.

'The Maiden', bronze,1981 stands in the grounds of a Scottish 18th century Georgian mansion, Newton Don House, a pastoral setting appropriate for Rambert's 1981 revival of Nijinsky's Ballet 'The Rite of Spring' which was its inspiration. The 'Rite's' theme, a mythological tale of dance and music, is central to an understanding of Cregeen's work. The first edition was scaled up from an earlier small version. 'The Chosen Maiden' in which the geometry of the figure transcends its 'human form' at the conceptual and intuitive levels and associates with the landscape.  

 

'The Maiden' was created to be dramatically placed over looking a wooded landscape. Inspired by the placing of it in the late autumn light with the bronze warmed and coloured by the setting sun Cregeen went on to create a more sensuous figure moving away from the ballet's scenario. The essential forms have been taken and developed into a simpler more abstract work, 'After Newton Don' and later 'Cornucopia', a reminder of Constantin Brancusi's 'Bird in Space'.

'Becky', bronze, 1983, captures the essence of the lithe conditioned body of a dancer who even in repose reflects the graceful movement of the body in dance. This was the last work that the artist was to create from the important period he spent in close collaboration with the ballet company. 

'Kneeling Woman', bronze,1980, Sculpted from drawings made from his time with Ballet Rambert the figure has all the characteristics of a Cregeen with the distinct geometry of the female form. Its strong up-right back with the arms in harmony with the twist of the torso while its firm neck and upward sweep of chin give the figure its commanding presence. This is another classical work of Cregeen's in the sense of Renaisance sculpture. The feet, particularly the left one, with its combination of power and suppleness reveal the subject’s profession as a ballerina.

The Cregeen backs are ramrod and upright, or sinuous and curving, in the human models or the sculpted figures. To concentrate only on the front is to miss the all-encompassing element that sculpture provides, an opportunity that Cregeen seizes. His backs are secure, as anchors for the body, providing an extraordinary sense of composure, steadying the body’s action with a pervading inner stillness.

'Michael in Arabesque', bronze 1979, 'Lucy in Ziggaret', bronze, 1979 and 'Tom as Caliban', bronze, 1980  are all works that reflect Cregeen's time with Rambert and strong sense of movement that became is a feature of Cregeen's sculpture........"

(From Lois Katz DAVID CREGEEN- HIS WORK. 2018)

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