News Story

Coming soon to the outdoors at YSP, Hydra vs Bear is a new work by Australian artist Jordy Kerwick. The work depicts a battle between the gigantic water serpent from Greek mythology and a double-headed bear. Cast in bronze, the two beasts are poised mid-attack: Hydra rises from the ground ready to strike, while Bear lunges forward with claws and teeth bared.

Wolves, tigers, cobras, bears and unicorns all feature in Kerwick’s sculptures and paintings, along with hybrid and strange creatures. These animals are the subject of some of the earliest cave paintings, dating from the Palaeolithic era. The artist draws on these archetypes and ancestral memories. His monsters and many-headed creatures also hint at contemporary fears: the consequences of genetic engineering or the fallout from nuclear conflict.

In advance of it’s installation at YSP this summer, Vigo Gallery are hosting a London Preview of Hydra vs Bear at Smithson Plaza from 18.00 to 20.00 on Wednesday 7 June. The drinks reception is hosted by Vigo Gallery, Oneofany, Smithson Plaza and Encounter Contemporary.

I've always been a fan of storytelling and have been inspired by how writers create narratives. Folklore is the traditional way of telling stories, relying on distinctive characters and symbolism to tell tales of good and evil, life and death, and fear and bravery. In that sense, my work leans on those folkloric characteristics.

- Jordy Kerwick
a sculpture of a three headed snake
a sculpture of a bear

About the artist

Jordy Kerwick (b. 1982, Melbourne, Australia) lives and works in Albi, France. He is a self-taught artist, taking up painting in 2016, and has exhibited extensively internationally. His paintings and sculptures are held in numerous public and private collections. Merging mythical creatures with human forms, flowers and landscapes, Kerwick’s imaginative work challenges the normal constraints of both adulthood and the artworld.