I’ve become known over the last 30 years for my life-like animal sculptures. Each is handmade in England and sculpted here in my studio in Wales. For me, my practice is not simply about capturing the animals I sculpt with marks and movement. It’s about our relationships with those animals and their welfare.
It’s wonderful always looking at and working with a subject that I love. I’ve sculpted since I was a child, and I’ve found throughout my life that expressing animals in clay is an evolving struggle of exploration and respect. I’ve lived with exotic birds, sheep, rescued fighting cockerels and snakes, and during my seven year apprenticeship worked with countless animals sculpted by my parents, sculptors Lorne McKean FRBS and Edwin Russell FRBS. Later, my love for animals led me to volunteer with Riverside Wildlife Hospital.
So although I’ve done many commissions of people, building a strong tradition of figurative sculpture at my college The Art Academy, and authoring a book ‘Modelling and Sculpting the Human Figure’, I’ve always intrinsically been an animal sculptor.
I’m always asking myself, how can I use my work to better the lives of animals? How can I support nature, natural habitats and welfare through my art? I raised £20,000 for Battersea Dogs and Cats home with my sculpture, and now my art raises awareness and money for the Dogs Trust, the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, All Creatures Great and Small, and Doris Banham Dog Rescue.