Britain’s landscape is a jungle like no other. From London’s lights and skyscrapers, to the stark, raw and rugged corners of the Scottish Highlands. It is no easy home. The people that have inhabited this island have needed to be natural problem solvers, in order to survive. Kale for example is now deemed a super food, and has a home in middle class salad bowls. However for the Celts, it was one of the only forms of nutrition on offer.
Stealthy as its people, is its wildlife. Although deer, and foxes may lack the ferocity of the Bengal Tiger, they harbour a survival instinct, which has allowed them to make homes in some of the most dangerous, and changing environments.
They find comfort in our harsh winters, and use the winds to add spring to their step. Sculptor, Hamish Mackie uses his art to capture every movement.
Sculpture, like photography, must capture moving image, in order to be successful. Mackie’s collections, allow a looking glass into natures many faces; one on-going collection in particular, the hare.
An inquisitive and increasingly rare creature to dwell the British Isles, is one of the famed Artists favourite subjects.
“In this sculpture I wanted to capture a fleeting moment, to express the strength and agility of the hares as they box. I kept thinking about Mohammed Ali’s catchphrase ‘float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’ which sums up perfectly the spirit of boxing hares”.
This is my favourite piece by Mackie. The hare appear in a dance of competition, perfectly balanced and in control of their impressive agility. The piece is as earthy in its composition, as the craggy habitat of the hare.
Mackie’s method is lengthy and labour intensive, with each sculpture taking around four months to complete.
The technique he uses is known as ‘cire perdue’, the French for ‘lost wax’. This technique is ancient in its origin, and dates back 5000 years. The process seeks to preserve the initial detail of ‘the original’ (the first example of the sculpture in a mouldable material such as clay, or plasticine), and have that same detail appear in the bronze (or other metal) finished piece.
Several stages turn a ‘positive’ original, to ‘negative mould’, and back to positive cast. However, even after the new bronze sculpture has been created, it still requires welding, chasing, and the addition of the patina. The patina being my new word of the week, is a process of adding chemicals to a sculpture under a flame, in order to add colour and shades.
Please do not be fooled by my simplistic description of the procedure, I have withdrawn from detail as I still don’t fully understand it myself.
https://hamishmackie.com/about-hamish/bronze-casting/ An article here from Hamish’s website describes cire perdue more elaborately
This is incredibly complex approach, which eternalises the fine features of his art. The movement he creates with his hands are as natural and assertive as those of the subjects he portrays. He has over 20 years experience in his industry, and has been a full time sculptor since the late 90’s.
Hamish has not neglected more exotic wildlife, and his website boasts sculptures of beasts from all over the world. There is also an excellent blog that journeys us on his own expeditions into nature and encounters with his subjects. Most recently, he has been stalking and fishing in the North of Scotland: https://hamishmackie.com/fishing-and-stalking-in-scotland/
He is a pride of Great Britain, and his work has been hosted at the Chelsea flower show, as well as the Royal Botanic Gardens. Check out his website to view his blog and amazing images of his cultures. You may even wish to enquire about a commission. No credit enough can be paid to someone who can aptly apprehend the expressions of a subject, which cannot speak.
Fly like a Butterfly, sting like a Bee. Keep calm and sculpt like Hamish.