Wildebeest - standing 1 (Connochaetes taurinus) commission
This was commissioned at the end of 2018, so a great way to kick off 2019.
On the subject of Wildebeests - what funny animals they are. Noel Coward poked fun at them with his song “I’m a Gnu” - which is the popular term (outside of Africa it seems). They have a look to them that is endeering. Ugly to some, but they do seem to be unusually put together. A loping run, or a panicked stampede in the case of the Masai Mara migration. They have this hump of fat and muscle over their shoulders, and rather small hindquarters in comparison. Long faces, very unique noses with a large flap of indented flesh, rather than the usual protruding nose that everyone else seems to have. I’m sure (because nature always has a plan) that it is for a very good evolved reason, but it looks odd.
And there they stand and watch, and watch and watch, body sideways, in that classic pose, and then they bolt.
And if you want to see them in all their flying glory, you must google the migration in the Masai Mara in Kenya. Having to leap across a crocodile infested Mara river in flood to get to the feeding grounds in the Serengeti plains in the south. (See Wildebeest 2 leaping)
This is a work in progress - standing 27cms at the shoulder, so quite a large bronze. I will post the bronze as soon as it is complete.
Being a commission this is the only piece (not a series)
So this has just been dropped off at the foundry - next comes the whole process of casting the bronze.
It all starts with a skeleton - this gives at least an understanding of what goes on below the surface, and later how the muscles wrap around the bones. Then comes the exciting part of interpreting how the muscles move when the animal is in action. In this case it is more straightforward as the actual pose of the animal is the same as the skeletal reference.
This strange looking object is the armature for the wax, to give it strength. It is measured accurately to a skeleton of a blue wildebeest, so that proportions are accurate.
I love working outside, but not outside, so my verandah is perfect. Great light, coffee and music. You can see the process in the photo, - various pictures of the animal, armatures, skeletons, and then there are the trips to the bush to photograph from many different angles to understand the real three dimensional physiology of the animal.