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#18 Hadeda

Hadeda (H280mm x B140mm x D100mm. To be cast in bronze or composites)

I hear the flock every dawn and dusk as they fly to or from their roost, a haunting call that carries my spirit far away from the now to beyond the distant mountains, crossing the horizon and the mighty rivers, over the peaks of the Drakensberg and into the seas of grass and vast plains of Africa, landscapes trampled under the footfall of a thousand wildebeest stretching out under the parched dome of a blue African sky, a scene punctuated by the lilting flight as a lone hadeda flies by, its call very much one of the definitive sounds of Africa, a call that, when I hear it, I know that I am home.

At first this week’s artwork was planned as a painting, but after completing the bat-eared fox, an acrylic of over a metre in length and requiring an enormous amount of concentration, I decided to give my eyes a rest and rather work on a sculpture, slowly building up the form of the hadeda over the week until I reached that critical point when I knew it was time to stop, for to over-finish this piece would have meant losing the rough essence that I was seeking. A small iconic piece sitting on my mantelpiece that, each time I look at it, reminds me of the Africa I know so well.

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