Artist: Hamish Mackie
Based at his home and studio in Hook Norton, Oxfordshire, Hamish Mackie has been at the forefront of animal sculpture for many years. He studied at Falmouth School of Art and Kingston University. His professional career as a sculptor began in 1996 during his first visit to Africa.
Mackie’s work is informed by a deep connection with and celebration of nature. Will Gompertz (BBC Arts Correspondent) contends: ‘His work is immediately recognisable: the textured surfaces, the twisting bodies, the sense of movement; the extraordinary attention to detail. There is a feeling of a moment being captured, an aliveness that gives his sculptures their unique dynamism and character. They have a disarming beauty, a palpable presence.’ Gompertz compares the ‘psychological charge … and impressionistic flair’ of Mackie’s work to that of Rodin’s sculptures. Like an artist working en plein air, Mackie strives for verisimilitude and in fact, works in a similar way to an open-air artist: he has customised trunks that can act as a portable studio so that he can go on field trips where he can position himself on the back of a jeep and sculpt directly from life. This brings a vitality, vigour and directness to his work. This direct contact with a subject gives Mackie’s sculptures ‘their veracity and power. He is there. He isn’t just seeing, he is feeling. And that feeling, that sensation transmits from a Mackie sculpture to us the viewer. It is unmistakeable and unforgettable.’ (Gompertz)
Mackie’s sculptures are held in private and public collections around the world, including Blenheim Palace and the White House. He has been awarded the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association’s Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture and Fountains for his Goodman’s Fields Horses.