Sculpture of six Cape Buffalo bulls
7 in Edition
W: 36″ H: 24″ L: 37″
92cm x 60cm x 94cm
Bronze Africa ‘Belligerence’
When ‘The War Department’ sold out it was not difficult to go back in my mind and find that incident that would take me back to another occasion another day in a myriad of days out there in the bush where I could find the inspiration to replace the ‘The War Department’. I came up with a bull, just one bull that will never go away for me. I thought to make him as my mind sees him even today. The one that got away – that is the one!
I then realized that one bull was not to replace the ‘The War Department’. I needed to go back and find a bunch of bulls. I needed something that was perhaps more powerful and that is not difficult because they are running around in my mind, now here, now there, they are everywhere until I die I guess. So I found them as you see them on a termite mound impregnated with mineral brought from deep down by the termites. The mound was covered in little holes where they and everyone else had licked to find the mineral salts. Were there six of them? Hell I don’t know, that was thirty years ago now.
There was a Baobab right there and in the evening light I recall the dust that they kicked up so thick that it made the light red and dirty. The scene was not silent. The Ox Peckers were also indigent with their incessant hissing. Did we shoot? No, it was a recipe for wounding – they were piled up like that and so we left them to go and the dust and then the night obscured them. We followed up the next day but they made a bee line for the river and I never saw them again. I don’t think they liked us too much from the way they checked us out.
Here then is ‘Belligerence’ the most powerful piece that I have ever done to date courtesy of a magnificent bunch of ‘Dagga Boys’ some old and broken off, some so vivid and so big that they took the breath away. Such memories cannot be matched anywhere, I take great pleasure in trying to the best of my ability to show them to you, I hope that you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed digging them out of my memory. Oh by the way, I will tell you about that one bull one day. Or is it only one?
My wife and I had the privilege of meeting John and Di Tolmay at the 2018 South Eastern Wildlife Expo. John’s African work immediately caught my eye as it was so realistic and “alive” in both its form and chosen settings. There was one large piece of a herd of six Dugga boys that made feel as if I were stalking them with their alertness with attitude apparent. The third day I could stand it no longer and bought the piece. As it turns out, John lives an hour and a half from my home and kindly brought the sculpture to my hometown, consulted on the right pedestal choice, placement and lighting. The consulting fee was a few good Scotch Whiskies. If you are ever in Greenville, SC, ‘Belligerence’ is the lobby focal point of the Downtown Embassy Suites. It is perfect.
Browse through my other pieces in this gallery category.