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Running Cheetah Pair II

This Running Cheetah Pair was done in 2004, after Lewis had focused on the large cat form for over a decade, and is a masterful rendering of power, fluidity, ease, grace, strength and freedom. It depicts a hunt, with two animals straining towards their prey. It is remarkable in the way that it captures the enormity of the stride of the fastest land animal on earth. Clearly, it is impossible for any human eye to observe the anatomical details of cheetahs running at such high speeds, but Lewis's knowledge of anatomy and musculature, gleaned from dissecting and studying the animals, meant that he was able to interpret the idea with great accuracy. These super-fast, aerodynamic hunting cats cover enormous distances in each leaping stride and reach speeds of up to 96 km p/h, made possible by uniquely flexible and powerful spinal columns that balance their acceleration as they stretch. Lewis has illustrated both extremes of this stretch, one in each of the pair. There is also a sense of great velocity flowing throughout the work, from the long, powerful tails that help the cheetah to maintain balance when changing direction at high speed, to their fusion with the base conjuring the blur they create when running. In terms of composition, the linear and diagonal nature of the sculpture's base further enhances the burst of energy and sense of forward movement, imbuing it with a palpable sense of thrust.