Female Hippo Lying and Male (mouth open)

75 x 150 x 100 cm
Edition of 3

These hippo sculptures are a departure from Tessa's allegorical pieces, but she was inspired to create them after seeing these great beasts wallow in calm water. They appear like floating logs, when really they are weighty, aggressive animals. Tessa loved the fact that she could sculpt the hippos in a manner that did not need the whole bodies, yet retains the full impact of them being complete life size animals. An important aspect of this sculpture is its base. The base is formed by water creating a fluid, ever moving accompaniment, absorbing the hippos fully into their natural habitat and landscape. Tessa feels that the placing of the hippos, wallowing in a cool, secret water hole, captures a sense of observing the animals quietly and undetected, as if in the bush.


About The Artist

Tessa Campbell-Fraser's work to date has focused mainly on animal and human subject matter, drawing inspiration from a wide range of sources including pre-historic cave paintings, Inuit sculpture and the classical world. Her work is not merely literal but also sensitive, with allegorical and spiritual influences. She tries to capture the essence of her subject, be it abstract or representational: "I am a sculptor who is inspired by life, movement, texture and atmosphere. My sculpture seeks to reflect the fragility of nature and man. I see sculpture as a drawing in three dimensions, using light and shadow to act upon the planes of the sculpted surface. The work need not always be literal; to capture human sensibilities is what the best art is all about."

She works in clay, incorporating a variety of materials and using bold tool marks to form craggy surfaces, which create discrete abstract textures: "The process of sculpting a project is ever-evolving and on-going, the dynamics developing continuously from start to finish. The larger the sculpture gets, the more conclusive and powerful it becomes, a process that I find exciting and rewarding.”

Tessa Campbell Fraser

Born: 1967