Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Artist finishes bear sculpture

The biggest bronze sculpture of a grizzly bear ever made in Britain, made by sculptor Nick Bibby and his team
The biggest bronze sculpture of a grizzly bear ever made in Britain, made by sculptor Nick Bibby and his team

An artist has completed the biggest bronze sculpture of a grizzly bear ever made in Britain.

Renowned sculptor Nick Bibby spent 3,500 hours crafting the life size Kodiak bear, which towers at almost 11 feet high.

The gigantic bear, known as Indomitable, was commissioned by Brown University in Rhode Island, USA, and weighs 2.3 tonnes.

Mr Bibby, who lives in Compton near Marldon in Devon, began working on the sculpture at his studio in 2012 and put the finishing touches to it last week.

"Grizzly bears are truly my favourite animal so to be given the opportunity to sculpt the most exciting challenging and fulfilling sculpture of my career so far has been an absolutely wonderful experience," Mr Bibby said.

"Early in the process, it really hit me as I looked at the sheer bulk of the bear looming above me just what a mammoth project lay ahead.

"Even working flat out on a good day I could only sculpt a couple of square feet of the intense fur texture, such was the concentration and focus required to produce that level of detail."

More than 100 people have been closely involved in the varied and complex stages of moulding, casting and finishing the sculpture.

Indomitable will be shipped from Pangolin Editions foundry in Stroud in Gloucestershire - where it was cast - to the USA at the end of this week.

Mr Bibby, who has been a sculptor for 20 years, will make two further grizzly bears, after receiving a commission to create a second before the first was complete.

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