Keith Calder was born in 1959 in the small town of Cradock, South Africa. From his youth, the life of this sculptor has been inextricably linked to wilderness and its creatures, a link that forms the essence of his sculptures.
On completing school in Johannesburg, he undertook a diploma in nature conservation and spent the next ten years in that field, working throughout Southern Africa. Whilst working in the northern Kruger Park he contracted malaria. During his recuperation he started to explore his interest in sculpture. He spent a month sculpting and modeling in clay. That month marked a year of transition for him as he vacillated between his commitment to conservation and a possible career in the arts. He spent much of his free time honing his skills as a sculptor. In 1987 the decision to leave the bush and become a sculptor was made easier when he received his first important commission from St Stithians College in Johannesburg: a herd of nine elephants in bronze ( 3m x 1m x 0.5m ) symbolizing the college motto ‘one and all’.
Calder’s work ranges from miniatures to life-size to monumental sculptures and is well represented in institutions and corporations throughout South Africa. His style is instantly recognizable by its realism and his ability to capture the character of his subjects stems from his intimate knowledge of them. “ To be able to draw upon the power and beauty of wild things and portray them in sculpture is a great privilege for me. Perhaps they symbolize our purer selves or jolt our deep seated ancestral memory of when we once lived closer to the earth”
“Big Five Collection” Sandton Art Gallery Everard Read Wildlife Art exhibition. Johannesburg ‘As above 1994 ‘Art on the Square’ Sandton Square Decorex Expo Johannesburg Albertyn’s Stables Art Gallery Cape Town Bronze Age Sculpture House Cape Town
Pezula Country Club- Knysna Cologne Art Fair Belgravia Art Gallery- London Inspires Art Gallery-Oxford UK Sembach Art Gallery-Cape Town 2010 Barnard Gallery Cape Town 2012 Joburg Art Fair- Barnard Gallery. 2013 Cherie de Villiers Gallery 2014 Cherie de Villiers Gallery