From my Hervey Bay studio I enjoy capturing what my eye sees and heart feels. I never have to go far for inspiration. Just beyond my window brightly coloured rainbow lorikeet’s chatter as they feed on nectar, a resident kookaburra’s laughter can be heard from high in a gum tree and on a rainy summer night, a choir of frogs burst into song.
I use the tactile nature of sculpture and the wonderful qualities of bronze to bring our delightful wildlife within reach. One of the reasons why I love sculpture is: I’m drawn to form. I find it visually interesting how shapes flow – the way one finishes and another starts – all seamlessly working together to create the beauty of life as we know it.
The bronze are cast using the lost wax method. Each piece is a limited edition of 25, and takes 6 to 8 months to produce a new piece for initial conception through to the finished bronze.
Research is a huge part of the creative process: it builds anticipation, helps an idea fully develop and imparts a deeper understanding of the subject while cultivating feelings. As well as the visible form, I like to study the underlying anatomy and when possible meet my subject, even if it’s only from a distance. I carefully consider a composition and pose that capture the subject’s natural behaviour and express its unique story. An armature is then constructed which replicates the skeleton and skull, onto which clay is gradually added and subtracted to create those seamless shapes and delightful characteristics. My hope is that the viewer imagines something living, and through my humble efforts to capture the beauty of life, they too enjoy all that nature has to offer.
Born in Australia, Elizabeth grew up in Papua New Guinea and country Victoria before moving to Hervey Bay Queensland in 1990. Her sculptures can be found in private collections and homes across Australia.
The Peace Cake:
Principle Sculptor Elizabeth, in collaboration with Sculptor Marni Koster and workshop participants spent ten months recreating the Stellmach and Sons 1919 Peace Cake. (Celebrating the end of WW1). There are just over 2,060 individually handmade pieces (including the piping replicas) decorating this sculpture. The core structure of the cake is wood and high density extruded foam, with rods that go through each hand turned pillar holding everything together. Modelling paste was used to create the icing and the embellishments were made from polymer clay. Like the original cake, the finished sculpture stands 1.5m high and is 61cms in width.
The sculptured cake now has a permanent home at the Maryborough Town Hall. – Story and Photos by Elizabeth Hersey
Exhibition Dates: June 16 – July 23
Hervey Bay Regional Gallery ‘Captured in Bronze’
Captured in bronze is an up close and intermittent look at the animals that call this region home. I’ve enjoyed capturing the subtle details and characteristics that make them such a delight to observe.
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