RENOWNED WILDLIFE SCULPTOR, SAFARI GUIDE AND GAME CONSERVATIONIST
“AN INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE OF WILDLIFE A KEY TO SUCCESS”
Growing up in the highlands of Kenya, which were at that time teeming with elephants, giraffes, buffalo and all the other plains’ game. Allen's school holidays and any spare time have been spent either hunting or fishing in the surrounding areas and it was at this time that a deep interest in Africa’s wildlife was nurtured.
Allen has been a wildlife Sculptor for the past 30 years, having been a game ranger in Zululand and guiding safaris in South Africa and Botswana. He now has a studio in the KZN Midlands where he creates his magnificent sculptures that are collected by many Southern Africans and Visitors from all over the World. His passion for Africa’s wildlife is amazingly portrayed in his work.
Allen, often accompanied by his wife Jenny, first spends hours in the bush studying his subject, often returning to observe the animal during the creation of the piece.
He has an intimate knowledge of the creatures he sculpts and has come to know their habits well. He tells us how, for example, a warthog will wallow in mud, and when the mud dries rub it off to rid itself of ticks; or how a rhino that’s bothered by flies will kick its stomach vigorously with its hind leg to disperse them.
Among Allen’s projects is a magnificent lifesize Ground Hornbill which was commissioned by the Mabula Ground Hornbill Project and was auctioned at the 2015 Thaba Tholo wildlife auction in September to raise much-needed funds for this very threatened bird. In total, this collaboration has raised in excess of R400 000. Allen is hoping that through his art he is able to make a meaningful contribution to preserving Africa’s Wildlife.
SADLEY ALLEN PASSED AWAY IN 2023 - His wife Jenny continues to ensure that Allen's works continue to be shared by art lovers and collectors around the world.
Brandon grew up in Johannesburg and always had a very keen interest in animals, collecting all kinds of weird and wonderful pets, from snakes to monkeys. At the age of fifteen, he moved to Durban where he worked part-time at the Dolphinarium and Snake Park.
After school, he spent two years in the army and returned to the snake park again. Six months later, restless and full of wanderlust, he took off for the bush where he was involved in a curio venture, game ranging at several private reserves, filming documentaries on lions and hyenas in Botswana and Namibia for National Geographic and the BBC, and eventually wound up managing the crocodile farm at Sun City for twelve years.
In 2010 with his very fertile imagination and creative yearnings bubbling to the surface, he decided to give sculpting a try as it was something that he’d always wanted to do, with his affinity for all things Native American, he sculpted a life-size bust of Fool Bull, (Native American warrior and medicine man ) working from a single photo taken well over a hundred years ago. This figure was cast in bronze and set on. His passion to create was now ignited and from that point, it was all systems ‘go’ – In 2016 he started to pursue his passion full time.
Self-taught, instinctual, Bruce Little sculpts to capture the spirit of the wild African creatures he has observed and guarded for most of his life. His technique captures the essential movement and attitudes of his subjects.
Born in South Africa, Bruce developed an early passion for the African wilderness through his childhood spent in the bushveld. He became a conservationist and professional game ranger, working at the famous private game reserves of Londolozi and Singita in the South African bushveld. For the following ten years, he lived on a private conservation project in the Eastern Cape where he restored Hopewell, a former beef and sheep ranch, to its original wilderness state. This included the reintroduction of indigenous wildlife to the reserve. The twenty years spent in the wilderness have given Bruce invaluable insight into the subjects he holds so dear.
For the past 21 years, Bruce has worked on sculpting his subjects by focusing less on strict anatomical correctness but more on capturing the deeper meaning of the animals he observes. Bruce says “it is natural for every artist to grow and evolve in one’s artistic journey” and as a result, he has started sculpting a series of pieces with a contemporary aspect, which he feels portrays the animals in a different light but still encompasses the essence of the animal's surroundings, spirit and behaviour.
In addition, Bruce has added a human element to his works where he attempts to portray a deep indelible bond that we as humans have with the earth and nature.
Bruce's latest undertaking has been that of a monumental size lion sculpture which is a commission piece from Ceawlin Thynn, Viscount Weymouth of the Longleat family estate, whom Bruce met during one of his trips to the UK. The piece has been created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Longleat Safari Park, the first of its kind in the UK. Though he has previously sculpted numerous life-size and larger than life-size pieces, this monumental lion is, to date, his biggest sculpture yet.
Off the back of the enormous success of the Longleat venture, Bruce was invited to have the monumental lion auctioned off at the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Gala event in St Tropez. The event was held in July 2016 where the piece achieved an auction bid of USD1 Million. The funds raised were donated by Bruce to the Foundation which focuses on various environmental projects.
Bruce, whose sculptures range from miniatures to life-size and larger, has exhibited internationally for the last 13 years with his bronzes in collections on all five continents as limited editions and private commissions.
Bruce is now a full-time sculptor living in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.