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SCULPTORS

BRANDON BORGELT

BRONZE SCULPTOR

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.

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BRUCE LITTLE

BRONZE SCULPTOR

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.

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CHRIS ROHM

BRONZE SCULPTOR

Sculpture doesn't live in a world of flat paint. It glows in the realism of dimension, shape, form, detail and artist interpretation. Although he has always harboured a creative spirit and a talent for working with his hands, it was by chance that Chris Rohm started sculpting. After a gap year in Europe, he returned to start working in a bronze casting foundry where he quickly developed a real love of the whole process of casting in bronze…it was during this time that he started working on his own pieces. Chris, a self-taught artist, captures the character of his subjects in the timelessness of bronze and is a champion of environmental awareness. “My success as a sculptor is not without difficulties, but every situation provides a learning opportunity. I'll always enjoy sculpting, accepting new challenges, doing work that excites me - that is my future.” One sculpture that is truly close to his heart is the powerful rhino, ‘TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT,’ which symbolizes the hardships the species are going through in order to survive to see another sunset. The sculptured body is armour plated which resembles the struggle of law enforcement and of game rangers in their mission to protect the rhino. The horn is the focal point and takes the sculpture to a height of 440mm. Bullets on the rhino's legs symbolise the struggle of the animal to survive blows from manmade machines that aim to kill. Standing on a pile of coins indicates what little monetary value the rhino horn is sold for in comparison to saving the animal for future generations. Although Chris’s full-time work in the construction trade is a different form of creativity, the sculpting allows him to get lost in his work and create what will become heirloom pieces. “I get so much satisfaction from sitting and figuring something out. When you look again the process has taken over and that piece of clay in front of you has become something else.”

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LUNGISA KALA

BRONZE SCULPTOR

Lungisa Kala was born near Willowvale in the Eastern Cape and moved to Cape Town in 2003, where he started work as a fettler in a bronze art foundry.  Here Lungisa was exposed to the process and techniques used in creating bronze sculptures and gathered valuable skills in working on detailed art pieces. Lungisa completed various courses in both Tool and Die making and Welding to further his technical skills. Over the past few years, he has assisted various artists and been part of a team of sculptors commissioned to work on pieces ranging from 40cm to life sizes and up to 9m monumental statues as well as creating miniature sets for a television commercial. Lungisa was part of a mentorship program run by the National Heritage Project Company where he was given the opportunity to create his own life-size figure from concept to final bronze sculpture. In between working on commissioned artworks, Lungisa now runs his own fettling workshop, but it has always been his ambition to create his own series of sculptures. Lungisa is currently sculpting a collection of personal works of small bronzes, focusing on wildlife as well as re-creating memories of rural life from his past. Lungisa believes that to achieve anything requires faith, belief in oneself, determination, vision, hard work and dedication! Which he has in bucket loads!

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