Cheetah Head Study – Clay Original - 2020
Since his first visit to Africa in 1996, Hamish has been fascinated by cheetah. He returns to the subject again and again as a bench mark for his evolving style. Inspired by a cheetah skull on loan from the organisation Specialist Wildlife Services, Hamish had the idea to sculpt a series of life size cheetah heads in three very different materials.
The cheetah heads were originally made in Plasticine, Clay and Mud and then cast into bronze. Hamish has worked in each medium many times before. However, until now he has not experimented with sculpting the identical subject and composition several times, each in a different material. It offered Hamish a greater comparative understanding of how each substance behaves and takes a patina, when all were cast into the same bronze.
Cheetah Head Study - Plasticine Original 2020 reproduces exactly his gestures and mark making. Cheetah Head Study - Clay Original 2020 is a little looser, imparting a satisfying degree of randomness to the surface. Cheetah Head Study - Mud Original 2020 was made with material Hamish dug straight from the ground and its different texture and consistency yields unique and often unrepeatable mark making.
Available individually, they also work as companion pieces, making a striking trio when placed together.
Hamish is very grateful to Specialist Wildlife Services for the loan of the original skull.
THIS SCULPTURE IN THE MAKING
On my first visit to Africa in 1996 I was lucky enough to meet Toki and Sabu, the two orphaned cheetah cubs of wildlife cameraman Simon King's documentary 'Fast Track to Freedom'. A few years later I travelled to Africat in Namibia especially to spend more time observing these incredible cats in the wild. Ever since then, cheetah have become one of my ‘bench mark’ subjects. It doesn't get more dynamic than the fastest mammal on earth! I had a cheetah skull on loan from Specialist Wildlife Services and hundreds of images of cheetah from happy times spent in the African bush. I decided to sculpt life size cheetah heads out of three very different materials: Plasticine, Clay and Mud, to explore the differences of each material from its bare form all the way through into patinated bronze. The making of these cheetah heads was also an ideal escape, during lockdown!