Preparations for Chelsea 2012

December, 2011

 

I am working long hours completing sculptures that I will be exhibiting at the Animal Art Fair in Southawk London from 17 to 20 Mayhttp://www.animalartfair.com/visit-the-fair/ and the Chelsea Flower Show from 22 to 26 May. My stand faces the Southern Road entrance – SR37. Sculptures prepared for these two exhibitions have taken almost two years to prepare.  

 
The centre piece for the Chelsea Flower Show is a 6 metre long, 3 metre high sculpture of two rutting stags – mounted on a gnarly old tree trunk that weighs almost half a ton which forms the craggy “hillside” upon which the two stags make their battle. If you have a couple of spare minutes please watch a U-tube video that I made during the shooting of the finished piece;
 
  
 

 

Another exciting project has been the Stallion and the Playful Dog; a 3 metre high stallion rearing up in front of a Red Setter, who is down on his front legs, head lifted towards the horse ready to play and tease.
 
I have found myself drawn towards the interaction between two animals as an exciting way of expressing emotion and vitality and some of the sculptures that I will be exhibiting at the London exhibitions reflect this. The “Bear and Salmon” is slightly different from my usual English wildlife subjects, it depicts a Grizzly Bear using it’s paw to fish a salmon from a bend in the creek.
 
Talking of Salmon; over the last couple of years I have been experimenting with reclaimed stainless steel. Almost all of the stainless steel that I use as frame material for my full size sculptures is sourced from a local scrap yard – aside from making use of discarded (but still expensive!) material, this also guarantees a quality of steel that is hard to find in Cebu – On my forays to the scrap yard I am frequently distracted and sidetracked by the many strange and wonderful shapes which are created when the scrap mettle is crushed hydraulically and turned into rough crumpled sheets.  For “The Salmon Jump” I have used one of these sheets in it’s original crumpled state to create the effect of water, highly polished it makes a stunning 180cm high sculpture with five driftwood fish jumping from its surface.
 
“Fox Cubs at Play” is a sculpture of two fox cubs playing, one jumping on top of the other. This sculpture will be exhibited at the Animal Art Fair. Aside from the two exhibitions my work can be seen at The Eton Fine Art Gallery in Windsor, The House of Bruar in Scotland and Matthew Upham Antiques at 584 Kings Road, London. I am grateful for their support and representation. 
 
While on the subject I am also eternally grateful to my mother and agent, Jane.  Should you need to contact me, she is always on hand at jane.webb@wanadoo.fr and will give you any help you need. I would be remiss if I did not also thank Andy Wilding of Globex Freight who has helped me with the delivery of these huge and unwieldy sculptures from the very beginning. I would recommend him for any transport project. www.globexfm.co.uk/ or call Andy on 01394676162.
 
Now on display, by kind permission of Malcolm Lewis, Longueville Manor Hotel, Jersey are two life-size sculptures.  He has very kindly offered to exhibit my work both large and small at this magnificent hotel. The first is a dramatic sculpture of a stag set on top of a large piece of driftwood, with his head raised, baying into the wind. He weighs approximately 300 kg and is built on a stainless steel frame that is bolted securely onto the driftwood base. He can be placed out of doors.
 
 
His travel companion, also on display at Longueville Manor Hotel is Alethea, a 14.5 hands mare with her head turned to the left, also built on a stainless steel frame and suitable as a garden sculpture. 
 

James Doran Webb