Wider Horizons / Charlie Smith Sculpture
Having dedicated the last decade to sculpting, Charlie has amassed an impressive body of work through a series of commissions from private individuals and collectors, including a life-sized head portrait of Barack & Michelle Obama’s dog “Bo”, presented to the President by Ambassador James Costos and Michael Smith on his birthday last year.
Wider Horizons will showcase Charlie’s limited-edition wildlife sculpture in bronze. Several works were crafted in Kenya from life, using precious time in front of cheetah, lion and giraffe to get up close to his subjects. A specialist in capturing both the form and character of animals, often depicted while they are on the move, Charlie is known for his technical finesse, intensity of expression and striking patination finishes. Each work has a uniquely captivating, painterly surface which is alive with movement and feeling.
Charlie’s work often starts out in the field as models in plasticine which are then made up into maquettes small enough to be carefully transported back via Jeep and aeroplane to his studios in Dorset and London. These are used as references to scale the sculptures up to size in clay before being cast in bronze using the age-old lost wax process. Until now, Charlie has largely worked from private commissions, with notable pieces including the Cheltenham hero “The Giant Bolster” and a life-size Salers Bull head for a collector in Normandy. A percentage of the sculpture sales will be donated to The Tristan Voorspuy Conservation Trust, which was set up in 2019 to promote conservation, education, and sustainability in Kenya.
Born in 1990, the self-taught sculptor was raised in Dorset and now lives between there and London. He began working with ceramics at the age of 14 making sculptures at school. Having had a taste of early success after selling a sculpture of a life-size horse’s head at the school’s graduation exhibition, he continued working on commissions to help fund his university degree. After graduating, Charlie dedicated himself full time to sculpting and, since then, has been working on a series of commissions from private individuals and collectors. Today he sculpts from two studios: one in Queen’s Park, north-west London, and, more recently, a larger space in Dorset from where he creates life-size pieces. To date, Charlie Smith’s sculptures form part of collections across the world from the USA and Africa to the Middle East and New Zealand. Next, he will be travelling in order to build up a larger body of animal sculptures, observed in the wild.