Laban’s seal III


Australia 1943-2011
Laban’s seal III 1983

As a printmaker and sculptor, Les Kossatz was best known for allegorical imagery featuring sheep motifs – the experience of once having nursed an injured sheep being the catalyst for this preoccupation.

Born in Melbourne, Kossatz studied sculpture at the Royal Melboune Institute of Technology During the 1970s he began making his sheep sculptures using casts from actual carcasses and often the fleece itself.

For Kossatz, the sheep motif served different purposes: to signify the spirit of the Australian landscape or else to conjure up a more contested history, namely the pastoral ‘conquest’ of the land. An interest in world religions also comes into play when his work alludes to biblical stories. Laban’s seal refers to the Old Testament account of Laban ‘the Aramean, his family and flocks and rather complicated dealings with his nephew Jacob. Eventually, Laban and Jacob make peace with one another, marking their covenant with a seal.

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