I am a wildlife sculptor and have been, for the past 10 years, actively opposing the badger cull in England, and now also in Northern Ireland too. I’ve lead the Great Badger Trail, a protest march of 130 miles from Gloucester to outside Parliament in Westminster, London, on the eve of the 2nd years badger cull.
I’ve taught sett surveying, given speeches on how to control Bovine TB without killing wildlife, attended more demonstrations than I can remember, and even master minded a Community Art Action, spray chalking the bloody outlines of 2,000 dead badgers across the streets, at the end of the 1st year of badger killing, in my district, followed by a ceremonial wake for those needlessly killed.
Despite yearly assurances from the British government that the badger ‘cull’ will soon cease, year on year these mass killings continue to spread and wildlife crime has rocketed across England. So I have turned to what I know best by way of protest, and that is sculpting.
I made the maquette, (small scale model), of ‘Persecuted’ some time ago, and this sculpture was to be the base for a more complex sculpture, showing the negative Trophic Cascade caused by removing large numbers of badgers from the ecosystem.
However, I quickly discovered that only one art institution, (Nature In Art), would show such a sculpture, and that to talk about the ecological implications of the Badger Cull was now deemed ‘too political’.
After 2 years trying to get this more complex sculpture realised, I conceded that the UK is unwilling to have this conversation, and decided to make ‘Persecuted’ a life sized, stand alone, protest in her own right.
Having already made the maquette, I thought the life sized version of ‘Persecuted’ would be quick to make, but I had not factored in the beauty and complexity of badger paws.
As a result, I spent more time on her underside than the top, and ‘Persecuted’ spent most of her time upside down with her paws in the air whilst I got those pads and claws just right.
Although those claws are formidable, badgers keep theirs sharp by not letting them touch the ground, unless actively digging, instead floating them on spongy pads. These were a joy to sculpt, and I learnt much in doing them. It also means the finished sculpture does not scratch the table top either.
Thanks to the patience and skill of the staff at Castle Fine Art Foundry, who cast my limited edition bronzes, all the shapes and colours of ‘Persecuted’ are believable, whilst being simplified, in hard metal.
Thanks to the generosity of my 1st edition customer, ‘Persecuted’ shall be travelling the UK this year, getting the message out there in shows and exhibitions, how barbaric the badger culls are.
If you would like her to become a fine art ambassador for badgers at an exhibition near you, please do get in touch. www.amamenec-sculpture.co.uk