Heritage month sees Bruce Little, one of South Africa’s most prominent wildlife sculptors, celebrate our national legacy in an exhibition of iconic original bronze sculptures
The Bruce Little Gallery presents their inaugural exhibition ‘TOUCH AFRICA’ revealing Little’s latest work in his exclusive new gallery on Church Street, Stellenbosch. The gallery opens on South Africa’s Heritage weekend, Saturday the 23rd September, 2017, and will be open between 10am and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. Bruce Little, one of South Africa’s most celebrated wildlife sculptors, will unveil a wide range of newly cast bronze sculptures alongside existing pieces, together with some of his original wildlife photography. The local exhibition coincides with the artist’s relocation from Grahamstown to Cape Town – which is fast becoming known as the ‘Art Capital of Africa.’
‘TOUCH AFRICA’ serves to give the local market a preview of Little’s latest works which are also destined to be showcased in London, in November, for Little’s second solo exhibition at the Mall Galleries in St James, Central London. This much-anticipated exhibition follows the unprecedented success of the unveiling of ‘Dawn Patrol’ – the monumental 8 metre-long, almost 5 metre-high lion sculpture – at Longleat Estate in March 2016.
The piece was specially created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Longleat Safari Park. Off the back of this enormous success Little was invited to present ‘Dawn Patrol’ at the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Gala Auction in St Tropez, France. The Foundation focuses on environmental projects, which supports causes that are also close to Little’s heart. The monumental sculpture of the lion was a central piece at the event where it achieved the astonishing sum of USD 1 Million. All proceeds were generously donated by Little to the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
Situated on Church Street, The Bruce Little Gallery finds itself part of the ‘high street’ boulevard renowned for its boutique galleries, contemporary wine bars, and trendy restaurants. This address now becomes the official home for Bruce Little’s work. The gallery will be open to public seven days a week. The gallery allows art buyers and collectors to interact with Little’s work, much like Little’s creative process, where real-life observation and creation take place simultaneously. The gallery also affords collectors the opportunity to take home their very own piece of Africa. The bronze sculptures will be complimented by Little’s distinct wildlife photography, taken during his years of conservation as a game ranger. Photography is an important part of Little’s practice and give insight into his creative process.
September is all about celebrating and appreciating our national heritage and art is a wonderful medium through which to praise our culture and tradition. Little explores a creative expression that is rich in its honour of our nation’s iconic wildlife symbols. Join us this heritage month as we celebrate our continent’s natural emblems, conservation and the iconic art of Bruce Little.
ABOUT BRUCE LITTLE:
“If my art can inspire a greater empathy and appreciation for these creatures, I will have contributed something valuable to our relationship with nature” – Bruce Little
Self-taught and instinctual, Little’s attention to the flex and bodily movement of the creatures he sculpts encapsulate the essence of these wild African animals and evokes memories for both the artist and viewer.
Born into a family with a great appreciation for both nature and the arts, Little has been creating for as long as he can remember. Making his toys out of the materials that surrounded him, Little found great inspiration in his grandmother – a woman with remarkable artistic capabilities. “As a young boy my grandmother, Constance Little, thrust a ball of plasticine into my hands and told me to ‘make something with it.’”
Having spent his youth in the bushveld, Little developed an early love and respect for the African wilderness and grew up to become a nature conservationist and game ranger.
Twenty years in conservation has given Little an unparalleled and distinctive understanding of his sculptural subjects. Little sculpts to capture the spirit of the African creatures he has observed and protected for most of his life. His artistic technique flawlessly represents the enigma of Africa’s majestic icons.