The art of a Sculptor

Through the eyes of a sculptor, Vincent Da Silva sees movement, and brings to life bronzes of distinction. His attention was drawn by the inherit movement and grace of animals, particularly the cat. Vincent explored the subject matter, and developed an understanding of the anatomy of the cat as well as other animals in general.

As a child, Vincent grew up in Johannesburg and at the age of 7 the family moved to Cape Town. His uncle, an architect, inspired him to study Architecture. However, as a scholar, Vincent discovered that he had a natural affinity for art.

While in High School Vincent made a sculpture and the teacher advised him to have it bronzed. Having never heard of “bronze”, Vincent set off to a foundry. During school holidays he came to understand all that there is to know on bronze and how bronzes are produced.

He took his savings and invested it in casting his first two bronzes. These two bronzes were displayed at the Bordeaux Gallery in Franschhoek, and were promptly sold.

Vincent competed during 2007, his final year in high school, in the PPC Young Sculptors Competition and became an exhibited finalist. He then decided to continue sculpting, and slowly built up his portfolio.

It was in 2009, after having completed his first year as a student in Architecture at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, that Vincent opened his Gallery in Church Street, Stellenbosch.

Notwithstanding the responsibilities with regard to his studies, he still continued his art in sculpting, and produced work for the Gallery.

Even though he planned on doing a Masters in Architecture after obtaining a B.Arch degree, practicing architecture never materialized.

As the scales of economy were not in his favour prior to being permitted to enrol as a student in M.Arch, it was required practice that he gained two years practical experience. The world at that time was gripped in a recession, therefore Vincent decided to set forth his passion for sculpting.

As an artist Vincent reflects a very analytical way of producing bronzes, yet the ferocity and grace in which he produces the art is intuitive.

Wildlife sculptures captured his imagination and to his surprise the wild nature of the horse demanded exploring and drew his attention; which became another form of expression. Meticulously planning and gently stripping away the perception of the horse, he echoed the raw nature of the horse in the way expressed in his wildlife works.

Looking back over the period of sculpting while studying architecture, Vincent reveals that while focused on studying architecture it took up most of his thought and every moment of his time, and when the holidays came he felt such an intense release being able to sculpt.

From the moment he disassociated himself from architecture and engaged in sculpting full time, he discovered that the sculptures he produced were in his own opinion of a far better and more mature making, breaking different boundaries, and creating different ways, leaving him time to sit with one piece as opposed to trying to complete work within the limited time during his varsity holidays.

Vincent has moved his studio four times in his quest to finding the best suited space. To him the studio is where everything begins. It is this space in which he can sit, reflect, and even think about things related to creating sculptures. Art is never finished, there is no end to sculpting, it is a constant need from within to create and make something. He believes that sculpting is not some form of art that he wishes to end, but rather, he sees himself sculpting until his old age.

Vincent says, “When I started sculpting full time, I realized that my work has some inherent sense of movement. The subject is actually a secondary aspect to the movement.”

“So initially I sculpt a pose, a mood, or like some form of shape, and I find a subject that will only add to expressing that sense of movement. That is why I chose the cats simply because the cat inherently reflects a lot of movement – a very expressive animal.”

Larger commissions came his way, and a larger than life herd of Rhims Gazelle, a rare endangered animal native to the Middle East, saw the light. More recently a life sized white rhino was also commissioned for a South African client.

Freedom of expression to Vincent is bringing the art of sculpting back to the simplest most honest way of understanding. He prefers not to complicate things, neither to explain his work, nor name his works. Art should speak for itself. As part of a summer exhibition you can view his sculpture of a life sized horse at the entrance gate of Erinvale Hotel & Spa in Somerset West.

For more information visit www.vincentdasilva.com or visit the gallery in Church Street, Stellenbosch