I’m delighted to announce that all my submissions to the Wildlife Artist of the Year competition have been shortlisted. With this year’s animal sculptures, I have explored the group dynamic as well as focussing on the individual and their story.
The white rhino calf Thandi’s Girl is inspired by a real life story. Thandi, a white rhino in Kariega Game Reserve was brutally poached for her horns. Sadly, two other rhinos died in the attack but, against the odds, Thandi survived. She needed medical intervention to repair the initial wounds to her face, followed by the very first rhino skin-graft.
Thandi’s recovery over the last three years has not been straight forward. Her face is still not entirely healed but she is getting on with life and has recently given birth to a female calf. To celebrate this important milestone I made Thandi’s Girl as a symbol of hope for the future of rhinos. Indeed the real rhino baby has been named Thembi meaning hope.
One of the other animal sculptures to feature in the wildlife exhibition is Ring-tailed Ride, nased on my own observations made in Madagascar. It’s amazing to see how baby lemurs hang on to their mothers so effortlessly in the wild. They can be seen in the most precarious positions and yet they never fall off!
The other two animal sculptures are Three Graces, a group of giraffe sculptures, and Sleepy Heads, a group of sleeping warthog babies. To view all these works in what promises to be an incredible show of wildlife art visit the DSWF Wildlife Artist of the Year exhibition. It runs from Tuesday 30 June-Thursday 4 July 2015 at the Mall Galleries, London. Half of every sale will go directly towards funding wildlife conservation.