Larger Works

"You can use up creativity. The more you use the more you have"  -  MAJA ANGELOU

 ON PUBLIC DISPLAY AT OLIEWENHUIS ART MUSEUN

Life size commission from National Heritage project of Xhosa King Sandile astride a Cape Horse or 'Boer Perd'

 

A Song and Dance - Big Boy and Lady

I was drawn to the Blue Cranes by their natural grace and was fortunate in being able to study and model my subjects from life. They are a very successful breeding pair and are part of an ongoing, conservation via propagation, project. They form part of the dedicated team at Birdbrains north of Johannesburg.

'Big Boy' paid me the ulitimate compliment when he approached the wax likeness of himself to challenge the intruder in his territory. Establishing there was no threat he performed a big "song and dance" with his 'Lady'. Leaving me in my open-air studio striving to capture that fleeting interaction in this sculpture. I deliberatly displayed the open wings to show the trailing wing feathers which are often mistaken for the tail.

"I am gratefull to have modeled this pair from life,I believe as a result their essence has been preserved, explaining the sense of presence that this sculpture has..." Helena Vogelzang  - Sculptor

This captive breeding pair continue to raise their chicks successfully even today.

A portrait of 'Big Boy' a very handsome bird indeed - The Blue Crane - National Bird of South Africa

The pair - over looking the Valley of a Thousand Hills in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Life size Blue Cranes modeled from life...This pair of live breeding birds are resident at Birdbrains in JHB they are registered with The KZN Crane Foundation of Southern Africa their stud numbers are 106 and 107

 

Detail of 'Lady' crane...doing the dance! 

...discussing what patina to use as the final flourish, this is a chemical process to colour up a bronze and a crucial element in the final presentation.  A good rich patina is the hallmark of a quality sculpture .

...it's all in the details... 

...the bronzing process is - magical... 

The legends -  'Big Boy and Lady' succesfully rearing another pair of their chicks....photoraphs courtesy of Dianne Buckley of Birdbrains Breeding facility in Fourways Johannesburg.

 

 ...checking on the dipping process for the ceramic shell mould for the Blue Cranes head, this being one of the many stages of the bronzing process.

 

                          Larger than life size -Tree Frog and Chameleon

I love what I call the 'small five' and delight every time I encounter any of these tiny gems of the African bush.

Be they curled up under a rock, hibernating in my pot plants in winter or accidently crossing my path. One encounters them serendipitously and in the blink of an eye they melt back into the bush as if in a dream moment...

These sculptures were created with the strong compulsion to capture that picture window and  I have endevoured to harness their 'being' in bronze. I want people to become engrosed in these jewel like gifts of our natural world.

I originally created these two studies in 1994 and decided to update them for my exhibition in 2009. This fantastic new stand, becomes integral to the sculptures - the bronzed tree branches perfectly displays these charming creatures, the stand enables a wonderful view point for human and animal alike, making for a delightfully interactive sculpture that can be viewed in the round.

Being able to walk up to, around and under these sculptures involves the observer and draws them in to a very intimate view of nature - the result is a perplexing juxteposition of who is observing whom? The primary objective is to elevate these often overlooked creatures to a new, interesting  and deserving level. "...all creatures great and small"

The subject here is a three times life size study of a Natal Tree Frog titled 'Jump'.  The bronzed tree branch in which it is poised to jump is two meters high.

 

The 'Trees' on exhibit at the Fat Tuesday Exhibition in 2009, including the Frog and the Chameleon, with 'Big Boy and Lady' in the background.

 

                            Sun Angels - Life size Meerkat 'The Sentinal'

According to African folklore these well known icons of the African veld, protect cattle and herdsmen from the 'moon devil' and are thus revered as 'sun angels'.

I admire these curious and delightful creatures, whose survival in their harsh environment, is ensured by their ability to co-operate and work for the benefit of the group.

Every  morning they stand as though in Meerkat-meditation with reverence to the sunrise, saluting every new day. One that will see the self elected sentinal, keeping vigil so the others can safely go about the inquisitive and eventful business of... Meerkating. 

I wanted to capture that total focus of the 'sentinal' when on duty, rendering all else invisible to the task when on watch, strategically positioned on the edge of a termite mound, the ultimate vantage point.