CEBU

Kekert: Bespoke

The Metropolis

LOOKING to accomplish the largest driftwood animal sculpture in the world in time for the Beijing Expo 2019 (the biggest exhibition ever put on in China and the biggest floral exhibit in the world to date), internationally acclaimed driftwood sculptor James Doran-Webb thrillingly sent out an invite for an impromptu private viewing! This intimate gathering took place at his 2,000-square-meter workshop (Cebu Home Craft, the James Doran-Webb Studio) located in Pakna-an, Mandaue City, Cebu.

Upon entering, everyone was greeted by lifelike towering pieces of art: a strikingly beautiful family of giraffes (the bull (male) measured eight meters; the cow (female), six meters, and the calf (baby), four and a half meters in height) created from driftwood salvaged from the shore. Plus, a 10 1/2-meter tree, made out of stainless steel, sat proudly outdoors! The solidity of the structures with expressive touches was warmly received by everyone who witnessed it!

Created with a large amount of thought and having spent months of intense work, James explained that his giraffe sculptures were conceptualized over the course of three to four months during conversations with his Chinese clients. The sculpting period took about a year.

But why giraffes for an exhibit in China?

“This pavilion upon which the sculptures are standing on is about plants. The giraffe, being the largest terrestrial ruminant that lives off it, will eat anything between 25 to 35 kilos of leaves every day. So there’s such a connect with plants; that’s why we chose this particular animal,” he elaborated.

Having been brought up with animals, James has always seen the beauty of the natural world. “My father is a farmer. When I was growing up, we had goats, cats, pigs and even chickens running around. So I’ve always had this close affinity with animals,” he shared.

Throughout his career on a larger scale, James Doran-Webb has perfectly replicated many desirable and imaginative sculptures, giving driftwood a new lease on life. The conclusion on this current project? Yes, it definitely looks as though James Doran-Webb will accomplish the largest driftwood animal sculpture in time for the Beijing Expo in June 2019.


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