Sitting Working Spaniel

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About the Artist

Tanya Russell MRSS has become an established figurehead over the last 30 years for her life-like and vibrant animal sculptures. Her practice focuses on animal sculpture through Foundry Bronze and Bronze Resin. The works are not only concerned with capturing the likeness of animals she sculpts through marks and movement but also our relationships with those animals and their welfare.

Although Russell has completed many commissions of people, building a strong tradition of figurative sculpture, she states that she has always intrinsically been an animal sculptor. Russell aims to create artwork around our relationships with animals, asking “How can my work better the lives of animals? How can I support nature, habitats and welfare through my art?"

Russell has spent her entire life working with rescue animals, fostering dozens. She volunteers in a rescue centre and is partnered with three animal rescue charities, giving them 10% of the proceeds from her sales. Russell is passionate about protecting animals and their habitats, stating that despite the chemical application used in her process, measures are in place to balance the environmental impact.

“Whenever we consider our artwork, we also consider the environment. The sculpting process of casting bronze is a very heat-intensive process. And both bronze casting and resin casting rely on chemicals which are difficult to dispose of in an environmentally friendly way. To offset the impact Russell and her husband Charles plant as many trees as they can”

A Royal Sculptor’s Society member, Russell apprenticed for seven years with her sculptor parents, Lorne McKean FRBS and Edwin Russell FRBS. After developing her sculptor practice for several years, she founded The Art Academy in London Bridge, now a degree-validated and thriving art college. She is also the author of Modelling and Sculpting the Figure.

Russell has completed many public and private commissions, including trophies for the Young Environmentalists of the Year, a larger-than-life-sized stag in Wimbledon, and a giant tiger and bear for London Tobacco Dock. She has also worked on numerous large studio projects, including the Creek Sundial for the Dubai Royal Family, a thirty-foot goddess Flora for Amsterdam, and a 32-tonne granite Mad Hatters Tea Party for Warrington.

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