I was contacted by a client who wanted to commission a very special sculpture for her friend. She knew he was passionate about red ruffed lemurs and so contacted me to commission one.
A few years ago I visited Madagascar, the home of lemurs. I was guided by my friend and Madagascar expert, wildlife photographer Nick Garbutt. It was a magical experience being woken in the morning by the sounds of Indri calling ‘eeee-oh-yup’ and venturing into the forest each day to find lemurs, chameleons and the elusive fossa. We had to work hard to keep up with the tree swinging lemurs, crashing through the forest, keeping our eye on the prize but also trying not to trip up!
During my Madagascar visit I got to feed and handle captive lemurs allowing me to discover what their fingers felt like and to see how they convey subtle facial expressions close up. I filled a sketch book and took hundreds of photos, all of which proved to be a valuable source for future animal sculptures.
In the red ruffed lemur sculpture I wanted to explore the animals’ beautiful shapes and give a sense of how flexible they are. Red ruffed lemurs have stunning eyes, so it was important the lemur was looking up. I must say, I did enjoy modelling all those lovely fingers and toes!