Inspiring the Artist: Brad Oldham on Animal Sculpture

Sculptor Brad Oldham has explored numerous themes in his sculpture work, but one theme continues to be a prevalent subject of interest: animals. Oldham’s fascination with the traits, habits, and details of animals ranging from the rare to the common started in childhood and continues to engage his interest today.

When he was in middle school, Oldham asked his parents to buy a bar of soap from each brand available at the grocery store. He was intent on figuring out which soap was best for carving. By the conclusion of his experiment, Oldham had created a menagerie of animal sculptures from bar soap using just a pocketknife. A gorilla carved from Dial soap, a pig made from Camay, and a turtle formed out of Irish Spring were just some of the soap sculptures he bestowed on his mother.

Oldham’s sculptures are more than just depictions of animals, however. Evident in his Pure Sculpture collections, such as his Owl Series and Bipartisan Collection, each of Oldham's sculptures tells a story and reveals how animals connect to our personal lives and to the human spirit. This is very true of Oldham’s latest sculpture series, inspired by the fascinating images made by Beverly and Dereck Joubert, world-renowned National Geographic photographers, filmmakers, and conservationists. Captivated by their intimate images of powerful animals that are rarely seen up close, Oldham wanted this series to pay homage to these intriguing creatures. The sale of these pieces will support National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative.

To learn more about Brad Oldham’s sculpture series supporting the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative, visit here.

Want to protect big cats? Visit the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative to learn how you can help.