Hare Leaping Over Nothing, 2008. Stoneware, rope, and antique bronze hook, 34 x 11 x 29 in.

Animal Unrest

Adopting a disturbingly human posture, a hare constricts into a hieroglyph of anguish. Choking and gasping, a jackal succumbs to a muscle-locking spasm. Grimacing in a ghastly blend of snarl and plaintive cry, a disheveled possum peevishly limps away. In Beth Cavener Stichter’s angst-ridden menagerie, deep-seated fears of vulnerability and victimization often surface in a symbolism of cringing and cowering—involuntary, animalistic contractions of the body that betray ingrained habits of anticipating physical or emotional pain. Anthropomorphism seems a means of grappling with these habits, sometimes by reflecting so starkly on their traumatic sources as to exhaust, at least temporarily, the emotions bound up with them.…see the entire article in the print version of July/August’s Sculpture magazine.