Hare and Bell, 1988
bronze, edition of 5 plus 2 artist casts
138 x 72 x 108 inches (350.5 x 182.9 x 274.3 cm)


Barry Flanagan

August – September 2003

A major exhibition of Barry Flanagan launched Narborough Hall, a new gallery and sculpture park, in the summer 2003. Flanagan’s leaping hares animated the eighty acres of grounds that surround Narborough Hall, a magnificent Georgian house near Downham Market in Norfolk. The ground floor of the house, which has been converted into gallery space, housed smaller sculptures and drawings.

Barry Flanagan has for many years been considered one of the great names in British sculpture and has achieved international acclaim for his trademark hare sculptures.  He first began modelling hares in 1979 and they dominated his major solo exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1982. 

The hare is not only a symbol of fertility, mischief and freedom; for Flanagan it is a vehicle for human expression: ‘We’ve lost our innocence’, he says.  ‘It’s just not as easy to refer to the human form any more.  But I can invest the hare with human attributes.’  The artist’s fascination with dance also informs his work:  he likens the movement of dancers to drawings flying through space.  The hares’ boundless energy and agility gives us an uplifting sense of possibilities beyond the ordinary: the animals perform acrobatics, play ball and box with superhuman ease.