Having grown up on a livestock farm, I inevitably have a special relationship with cattle. Last year I made two Hereford Bull sculptures, a breed I am particularly fond of. With their white faces and red coats, they are one of the oldest native breeds in the country dating back to the 1700s. Most of the time they have a really placid easy-going temperament, but I did come a cropper last year when observing a pedigree Hereford bull at a farm local to me. I parked up in his field but the bull took exception and remodelled my van! I made a quick exit and had to continue sculpting behind the closed gate but I did manage to make Hereford Bull and Hereford Bull Head.
Another favourite subject of mine is the game bird. Last year I turned my attention to woodcock. I have always had a fascination with them since childhood, as we used to see them in the winter months in Cornwall where I grew up. They are a superbly camouflaged bird, well adapted to life in the woods and fields. With a bit of luck they can be spotted on a dark night with a spotlight, feeding on worms with their long bill. That’s the behaviour I wanted to show in my series of sculptures – Woodcock Walking, Woodcock Eating Worm and Woodcock Foraging.
Venturing further from home, I also sculpted eland last year inspired by my research trip to Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya, February 2019. They are a wonderfully well-built antelope that lends itself well to my style of loose sculpting. Male elands can weigh up to 1,000 kg (1 ton) but I have seen an eland easily clear an eight foot fence. Not bad for such a hefty beast! That was the inspiration for Eland 2019. I wanted to show an eland in mid-run, its great weight frozen in a moment of time.
You’ll be able to see all of those sculptures in my upcoming Life in Bronze exhibition in October 2020. I’ve also started work on some new sculptures which will be ready in time for the exhibition. It’s a race to get everything cast and photographed for the catalogue before it goes to print.
For a series of studies of the female form, I’ve engaged a model and have finished making the armatures. One of the sculptures is inspired by the Winged Victory of Samothrace which I saw on a research trip to Paris a couple of years ago. It blew me away and has stayed in my mind ever since.
At the end of last year, I was booked to go fishing for squid off the coast of Cornwall. I’ve been wanting to sculpt one for ages – I think the fluid form of a squid would lend itself so well to being cast in stainless steel. In the end, the weather was a nightmare and made it impossible to go out, but I finally got my hands on one thanks to a friendly local fishmonger! See the video below of me working on the squid sculpture from a frozen squid carcass and a rubber replica for reference.
I’ve also got a new cheetah coming out of the foundry soon. It is one of those subjects that I return to in my sculpting often. Big Cats are anatomically very defined so they make a great subject to sculpt. You can really see what is going on under the skin, especially if the animal is lean and wild.
I loved studying and sculpting a swift recently. What amazing birds they are – they can even sleep on the wing! With their scythe-like wings and forked tails, they have quite a sculptural feel to their form. And my daughter Otterlie has also started making a Hare which she is going to display at the exhibition in October. I’m really touched that she takes an interest in my work and very proud of her evident talent and flair!
Below is a quick video of me sculpting some new sculptures in the studio, a tiger and a cheetah – ready for the new exhibition.
Keep an eye on the Available Works section of the website because we’ll post all these new sculptures there as soon as they are ready. And if you’d like a copy of my new catalogue which comes out in September or would like to be added to my mailing list, you can sign up on my contact page.
If you would like to discuss a commission with Hamish for a limited edition bronze or silver sculpture, check out the Commissions Page for more information or ring 01608 737859. Alternatively, fill in the form on the Contact Page and Hamish will get back to you.