Jan Sweeney sculpture is instantly recognisable, full of energy, movement and strong texture with trademark hollow eyes – a compelling feature of the big cat and wildlife sculpture.
“I always work from life taking the modelling wax to the subject even in the Zambezei valley to create an African wildlife sculpture. I have been inspired by watching these animals in their natural habitant especially in the untouched wilderness which is still to be found in Africa. There the unwary die so even when an animal is at rest it is ready to flee. It is the untamed strength and power always ready to explode into movement that I want to translate into a bronze sculpture.
I first went to Zimbabwe in 1990 for a holiday, left my clothes behind saying “I will be back”, in 1991 I returned with the intention to make wildlife sculpture. From this point I had to learn to work in wax to make moulds and to cast bronze sculpture. My first foundry was on a friend’s farm with my African worker Killion to assist me.”