Elephant Calf Bold - 2019
Hamish has been studying elephants in the wild for more than twenty-five years. In this series of four sculptures - Elephant Calf Bold, Elephant Calf Boisterous, Elephant Calf Bashful and Elephant Calf Chasing Warthog - he brings his sculptor's eye to the younger members of the herd.
"Elephants are a subject I will never tire of. I find elephants have a complex and varied range of emotions and are fairly easy to read." (HM)
Here, the elephant calf is running boldly and confidently, its trunk aloft. Hamish knows this stance well, having seen the orphan elephant calves at Reteti elephant sanctuary in Northern Kenya, racing towards their keepers at feeding time! Nearby at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, the younger elephants are also relaxed. Perhaps they somehow know that in both these conservation havens, they are safe from human-wildlife conflict within the security boundaries.
In this sculpture, Hamish also wanted to show the heavy folds of skin moving under the weight of a running elephant, with his customary attention to anatomical detail. Elephants are surprisingly agile and silent movers for an animal of their size.
Hamish will quite often sculpt several of the same subject at the same time. It is a very dynamic and efficient way of sculpting, as he really gets his subject in his head. Each of these elephant calf sculptures has a powerful emotional impact and when placed together, they make a compelling scene.
THIS SCULPTURE IN THE MAKING
After visiting Reteti elephant sanctuary in Northern Kenya a number of times, I just had to sculpt some naughty little youngsters mucking about! The calves feel relaxed and safe in the care of the Reteti rangers and this shows in their playful behaviour. The orphaned calves at Reteti always seem to adopt the position of this sculpture when boldly charging towards their keeper with the milk bottle!