Sculptures by Sophie Gérault

My mother being a painter, I spent a fair deal into painting (oil and pastel), however, working with clay, sculpture, was what I was strongly attracted to, enjoying the feeling of creating shapes through my hands and fingers.
But, by then, I couldn’t dedicate time enough to pursue this experience, because of my job. Many years later, I could attend sculptor Claude Cavin classes, and, so, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
One day, Claude found that one of my pieces deserved to be molded into bronze. So, I tried to know more about the lost-wax method. I attended an exciting training week at Stuart Roussel facilities, in Provence, where the apprentice realizes all the different steps allowing a piece to pass from earth to bronze.I loved every minute of it, and, since then, once a year - when I have made a small, easy-to-do piece on hand, I can’t resist visiting my friend Stuart, enjoying, again, the magic of bronze. 

 

For the more complex figures, I work with the Fonderie de Bronze Lauragaise.


My sculptures are, in fact, my travel diaries.
Just as some would write down their experiences and encounters in a travel diary, I try to materialize into clay and bronze memories of my wonderful trips throughout the wilderness of the Americas and Africa where, I enjoy so much the sumptuous beauty of nature, and the emotions provided by the encounter - in their habitat - with wild and free animals.
I also find fascinating to portrait some beloved or remarkable face.

But, my work is an hymn to wild life, sadly too often threatened of destruction. The planet has lost more 50% of its wild species in the last 40 years : how depressing !

Though I have no truly favorite animals to work on, I feel particularly fond of elephants, these gentle giants, savagely slaughtered by poachers for their ivory.  Some estimate that more than 93 000 elephants were killed between 2006 and 2015 !

I feel quite concerned about animal protection, and I try to help, by supporting trustworthy efficient organizations.

My very first support went to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a wonderful organization dedicated in rescuing young Kenyan orphan elephants, whose mothers had been killed by poachers, before sending them back to the wild.
I made contact with this Trust, offering to donate them a share of the profits coming from the sale of my elephant sculptures.This should be effective, starting this summer.

During a recent trip to Namibia, I could also appreciate the remarkable job made by the Save The Rhino Trust Namibia.
These people fight quite efficiently against the black rhino poaching in the Kunene area.
Again, the trackers/guides‘ dedication and professionalism, who patrol night and day over an immense territory of more than 450 000 hectares, the results achieved, convinced me to support them also.
Therefore, I plan to implement the same kind of partnership with them, before the end of the year.

So, sculpting is my passion, offering great happy moments. It reminds us also of how wildlife can be so beautiful, valuable and fragile. And, for me, it is a way to fight for its preservation thanks to the support for these outstanding organizations, and help making  a difference.

I invite you to share my passion and visit my site !

 

Sofy