The knowledge of Anne Shingleton and respect for the animal world is such that the artist is able to enter into their everyday reality. It seems that Anne understands their fears, limits and their daily struggles for survival. Before creating each piece, she studies animals alive and their anatomy for a long time.
In this specific case it represents a small bug in the pose of imminent flight. There are over nine hundred species of beetles of the family Lucanidae, order Coleoptera. The males of some of these, Europe's largest beetles, have hugely developed jaws or 'pincers' that resemble stag antlers. In war, these serve not to impale or crush an adversary but to turn him over on his back to perish. For humans the pinch of the male is harmless, but the female's much smaller, shorter and sharp-pointed sickle pincers can draw blood. The world's arts have often captured these animals' dramatic fighting and pre-flight stances, as here, and in Dùrer's famous 1505 water-colour, to which her gratefully acknowledge a large debt. Although a small version of the large piece this bronze beetle is still over four times natural size. The bronze is mounted on a black granite base.
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