The work is mounted on a timber framed plinth and depicts a fleeing Centaur partly rearing up on its hind legs with the front left leg of the horse folded back at the knee. The upper male torso is bending sideways and backwards holding a short bow having discharged an arrow.
The centaur is a wild, fabulous creature of Greek mythology having the upper body of a man and lower body of a horse. Centaurs were regarded as being coarse and irrational and are usually interpreted as a symbol of the animalistic side of humans. The centaur is also a symbol of humans' dual mind-body nature. In the art of the Middle Ages, centaurs were usually depicted on friezes and capitals, often with a bow and arrow. They were often regarded as symbols of vice and sin, heresy and the devil, although the fleeing centaur, shooting behind himself, can also be a symbol of man at battle with evil. In the art of the 19th and 20th centuries, the centaur often has erotic significance.
Alpha is one of ten individual large scale sculptures created by students in their second year of the BTEC Figurative Sculpture course at Stafford College during 1999. Their work was exhibited in the Gatehouse Theatre foyer and the Guildhall Shopping Centre. Alpha appears to be the sole remaining piece from the exhibition. The future of the sculpture remains uncertain: the managers of the shopping centre may wish to move it, either within the centre or elsewhere.
PMSA recording information