The Natural Eye 2020

The 57th annual exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists is going ahead this year. The Mall Galleries have worked hard to enable visitors to enjoy the exhibition whilst ensuring that social distancing is in place.

Secret Squirrel

I have managed to make seven works for the exhibition this year. Secret Squirrel was inspired by seeing grey squirrels visiting a walnut tree in my garden. The drill bits worked perfectly as a tail.

I have created three different birds for the show: Scissor Winged Tern is made using sickles, scissors and lots of chromed and light coloured items to reference the plumage shape and colour.

Scissor Winged Tern

Twice Shy is a pretty much life sized bittern sculpture. Bitterns often adopt this strange pose when disturbed as if trying to blend into the reeds so the title works very well. The old dog lead chains hang really well on this piece but it took quite a lot of tinkering to get them right.

Twice Shy

The third sculpture of a bird that I have created for the exhibition is of this resting Shag. These almost prehistoric looking birds nest on craggy shorelines and are often seen resting with outstretched wings. Thought to be drying their wings some scientists think it may be more to do with aiding digestion. Either way I think it makes a lovely shape. I needed to find a suitable base for the piece and was pleased to unearth a toolbox that obviously used to belong to someone called Ron, hence the title.

Shag on Ron’s Toolbox

I always enjoy watching hares in the fields around my home in rural Norfolk. This year I have made a pair boxing (Lockdown Hares) and a study of one sitting hunkered down in a furrow (Red Hoe Hare).

Spanner Frog incorporates all kinds of old tools including ring spanners for the eyes and an old bottle opener in the back. It’s quite tricky capturing the way that the frog folds its back legs when at rest, especially when using old tools!

Spanner Frog