Dylan Lewis's reputation as one of the world's finest wildlife sculptors is already established, but does not end there. For him, wild animals and the wild areas in which they live are far more than elegant subjects of art; they are an essential part of human identity. Wildness and wilderness, he believes, are not only 'out there'; they exist within each one of us, if only we would realise it.
And I agree with him. We have forgotten that we are the human animal, biologically and psychologically bound to the earth and all living things, a part of the web of life. Today, it is hard to deny that we have lost our sense of equilibrium in nature. As a consequence, the wild areas and wild animals of the world have suffered. And so have we. Disconnected from that which is rich and raw and untamed in us, we have become a psychologically lonely and fragmented species.
Dylan's powerful and potentially disturbing works – humans with animal masks, some with claws, others with wings or horns – are all mirrors of the essential nakedness of the human-animal interface, and fitting reminders of where we have come from.
In keeping with the theme of the award-winning UNTAMED exhibition in Cape Town, 'Exploring the lost balance between humankind and nature', these works are intended as a statement of respect for our deep biological and psychological connection to the wild; a reminder that every human being is a living museum of our wild origins and our relationship to all living matter.
It has been a privilege to work with Dylan on the UNTAMED exhibitions. Out of a shared concern for the environmental issues of our time, it is our wish that we may add to the measured voice of biological science with the often immeasurable voice of the arts.
Psychiatrist, analytical psychologist, wilderness guide and poet