Tyger is one of the many beasts created by Bruce Armstrong since
completing his formal training in sculpture at the Royal Melbourne
Institute of Technology in 1981. Armstrong became known for
his skill in carving notoriously hard timbers such as Red Gum
species, using a chainsaw to rough out the intended figure before
refining the form with adzes and other conventional tools. The
artist has stated that he believes that simplicity of concept is a
vital component of sculpture, and in this work the form of a wild
forest beast has been reduced to the most basic of elements.
Inspired by the mythologies of many cultures, including ancient
Egypt and the Hittite and Mesopotamian empires, Armstrong has
created here a stylized creature that has a powerful
presence. Yet for all its apparent brutishness, the work
also has had an undeniable appeal to visitors of all ages. A
generation of Gallery visitors has - with the artist's blessing -
built up a patina on Tyger's head by patting and caressing it.