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“Red Raider was designed as if to be stalking ready to pounce, perhaps on a mouse, their main source of nutrition.”
Renowned wildlife artist Del Pettigrew joins his wife Martha – herself an acclaimed sculptor – displaying at this year’s Sculpturewalk. Their pieces are both animal studies but that is pretty much where the similarities end. Martha’s Shima is a playful and lovable rabbit, Del’s Red Raider is a fox stalking his prey, canny and crafty. Stylistically they are quite different too.
Red Raider is a figurative bronze of a stalking red fox. With his intent, intelligent face turned sideways from his body, he sniffs the air. Ears perked and hunched body coiled, Pettigrew’s fox is poised, tense and alert – ready to spring at a moment’s notice. He is completely focused on his next meal, most likely – as Pettigrew notes – a mouse, the mainstay of a fox’s daily diet.
Pettigrew has deliberately left the body pitted and rough, emulating the fur of his subject and acknowledging that life in the wild is a question of daily survival. Will his Red Raider be successful and acquire food, or will he go hungry tonight? We don’t know, but the subject so well-depicted is doing his best to ensure it is the former.
With pieces right next door and as far away as a private collection in Kuwait, Pettigrew’s sculptures and paintings are sought after. Red Raider is an initial taste of his sculpting talent.