5 Minutes With... Hamish Mackie

Words by
Andy Morris

4th July 2022

The acclaimed Oxfordshire sculptor shares his thoughts on safaris, classic cars and wildlife encounters.

Your most memorable experience studying wildlife?
Being chased up a tree by a black rhino in Kenya. Much to the amusement of the security guys I was with!

What has been your closest animal encounter?
Many years ago I parked a landcrusier at Lewa Wildlife conservancy on a wildlife pinch point knowing a small heard of elephant were heading in my direction. I was on my own sculpting in the back when an inquisitive teenager came right up and checked me out with her trunk. I could feel the prehistoric rumble of her communications. It is also the stillest I have ever been in my life, I hardly dared to breathe!

Advice would you give before going on your first safari?
Book it through the Safari and Conservation Company in Kenya. 

Favourite British hotel?
Luckham Park because they show my sculptures and The Newt because their rosé is delicious.

What makes Lockbund Foundry so special?
Simon who owns and runs Lockbund foundry backed me in the early days, which gave me a fighting chance to make it as a sculptor wanting to work in bronze. We have since grown together symbiotically as a team with Lockbund  / Simon sticking to his early words of “you make it and we’ll work out how to cast it”. We can now cast both bronze and stainless steel with finger print detail on a monumental scale.

Which camera do you recommend?
I use a Leica - V-lux type 114 bridge camera when on foot and wanting to travel light. It has an amazing 24 - 400 lens with a 1600mm digital zoom which is so useful for sculpture reference images and video.

Which car do you covet the most?
1968 Ford Mustang GT 390 or an old Aston Martin DBS. In the mean time I love my Massey industrial loader tractor!

Most unusual private commission?
Possibly a full frontal life cast. Also I studied the camels at the Dubai Camel Research Centre as a client wanted up to 100 life-size camels - although I've only got as far as making one.  

Hardest thing to get right with your human figures?
Unlike a lot of wildlife we all know what a human should look like so there’s less room for ‘artistic interpretation’. The human body and its character is a very subtly put together amalgamation of forms to get right. 

Most surprising location you've found for one of your works?
A life size stalking leopard mounted high up on a huge cedar tree branch.

Which other artists inspire you? 
Bugatti, Bayre, Pompon, Mêne, Lewis, Coreth, Kenworthy - to name a few. 

Can you recommend a good book?
Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith

Best recent fashion purchase?
I live in Carhartt double fronted work trousers, more of a practical than fashion statement! 

Holiday destination of choice?
Sirikoi Lodge (or almost any part of Laikipia) followed by Manda Bay in Kenya.

What are you working on for 2023?
I’ve just got back from an inspiring research trip in Canada so feeling quite fired up about getting into some new subjects such as bison, big horn sheep and grizzlies.

What does luxury mean to you?
Things you don’t need but are nice to have.


Lioness Life size sculpture by Hamish Mackie