Lynn Chadwick made a number of maquettes for Moon of Alabama, in bronze and iron, including one in the collection of the National Galleries of Scotland ahead of the casting of the final large-scale iteration. The title of the motif is from a song by the famed German poet and groundbreaking playwright Bertolt Brecht, which has undergone many revisions and re-recordings. In its spherical structure, the form references the Soviet Sputnik space programme, with the first man-made object launched by the Russians into Earth’s orbit on 4th October 1957 as part of the Cold War Space race between the USSR and the USA. With Chadwick's idiosyncratic ribbing, protrouding edges and legs, the sphere takes on an anthropomorphic form, like one of Chadwick's beasts it seems to adopt an animal-like presence, something otherworldly and yet familiar.

Lynn Chadwick with Moon of Alabama. Photography by Jorge Lewinski © The Lewinski Archive at Chatsworth/Bridgeman Images