Wheatbelt metalwork artist Jordan Sprigg unveils massive rhinoceros sculpture

By December 4, 2020Wildlife Art

Jordan Sprigg with his dog Molly and rhino sculpture in Narembeen.(Image as supplied to ABC Great Southern by Jordan Sprigg)

By John Dobson and Mark Bennett

Read the original story here.

A giant metal sculpture of an extinct African rhinoceros has emerged from a West Australian farmer’s shed. Farmer and artist Jordan Sprigg says he was inspired to represent the power and size of the rhinoceros.

The stunning work is the latest – and largest creation – of Wheatbelt metalworker Jordan Sprigg, who uses scrap metal to create his masterpieces.

The white rhino weighs more than 700 kilograms and took 500 hours to create on his family’s Narembeen farm.

It is made of chain, old tools, farm machinery, car parts and sheet metal.

“It’s always been on my list of animals that I wanted to build,” Mr Sprigg said.

“The native animals are generally soft and cuddly and furry — there’s nothing wrong with those animals.

“But I am drawn to the dangerous, wild, big, larger animals.

A man in shorts and a long-sleeved top stands next to a large, unfinished metal sculpture.
Mr Sprigg starts with a frame and then adds old machinery parts.(ABC Great Southern: Mark Bennett)

Building the herd

Mr Sprigg’s work has proved a hit, with buyers scooping up many of his animal creations.

The sculpture was destined for an exclusive Perth restaurant.

“It’s a kind of a genre,” Mr Sprigg said.

“That’s a very big market … people just love animals.

“So it is nice that I picked a form of art that appeals to so many different people.

“It’s a nice to be able to do that as an artist, because it kind of enables me to keep building new animals.

A man stands, holding a dog and smiling, in front of a huge metal rhinoceros.
Mr Sprigg says his art fits into “kind of a genre”.(ABC Great Southern: Mark Bennett)

Bones about it

The works take Mr Sprigg months to create.

“I start most big projects like this, I have a drawing,” he said.

“It just helps me do the internal structure … this is kind of the foundational armature, the with the legs attaching to the base.

A man in sunglasses grinning as he sits astride a sculpture of a large metal horse.
Before the rhino came into being, this horse was Mr Sprigg’s largest work.(ABC Great Southern: Mark Bennett)

Many of Mr Sprigg’s works are on display in regional WA towns, including a wedge-tailed eagle purchased by the Shire of Williams.

“I do find rural [and] regional areas do love my work as well,” he said.

“With what I use, it’s all farm machinery or anything that was used to clear the land.

“I think it really resonates with the rural communities.”