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Sonny releases his first-ever sculpture show exploring the human-nature relationship

Posted on 16 September 2021

Internationally renowned urban contemporary artist, Sonny Behan, has spent the past eighteen months developing an ambitious new sculpture show, made up of three unique bronze collections exploring the duality of humans and nature.

Most well-known for his intricate wildlife portraits and large-scale street murals featured across the globe, this is Sonny's first time using sculpture as his primary mode of creative expression. After the success of his first sold-out solo exhibition 'To The Bone' in New York in 2018, this new body of work marks the next stage in Sonny's development as a multi-disciplinary artist.

His passion for using his creative voice to raise awareness for endangered wildlife and environmental issues has also built him a reputation for being an engaged artist, driven by a desire to make an impact. Together with organisations such as the United Nations, UNICEF, WWF, IFAW and Discovery's Project CAT, Sonny has used his creativity as a way to encourage people to protect the planet for future generations.

Kali's Gift by Sonny Behan
Kali's Gift by Sonny Behan

The South African artist, now residing in the USA, has dedicated the past eighteen months to the creation of this new work; a time which has been as much about contemplation, learning, reflection and reimagining, as it has about production. The result is an ambitious online showcase, comprised of three unique sculpture collections released at intervals, all of which explore the universal paradox that underlies the existence of all things. His three-dimensional artworks act as vessels for studying the complex relationship between chaos and order and delve into the indefinite nature of humanity.

The first collection titled, 'Ether' explores the delicate balance between the opposing forces of creation and destruction; life and death. The sculptural works call on us to acknowledge the light and dark that exists within us all, if we are to take the first step on our personal and collective journey towards finding equilibrium. In this way, they are a symbol of balance and hope for a new world where humans and nature are able to coexist in harmony.

Cognisant of the physical limitations of the current world, Sonny trades in the traditional gallery walls for an online experience and the opportunity to explore new avenues of creative storytelling. In addition to Sonny's rich body of contemporary sculptures the artist is also releasing a short film in collaboration with cinematographer, Nick Burton-Moore. The film exposes an enchanting recreation of the narrative intrinsic to Sonny's new body of work. The piece blends Burton-Moore's distinctive cinematography with Sonny's dramatic visuals, offering deeper insight into the themes and emotions conveyed through the artist's new works.

Soteria by Sonny Behan
Soteria by Sonny Behan

Through his visual discourse, Sonny also raises the question of how we as human beings are impacting on this precarious equilibrium within the natural world? The collection features the skulls of gorillas and tigers, two of the world's most-loved endangered species. The sombreness of the skull imagery is juxtaposed with bright pops of colourful flora, which offers a glimmer of hope in a world that seems destined for destruction. By drawing from both the darkness and the light, Sonny is able to create a balance of form that translates into something that is beautifully unique.

"After eighteen months of hard work and challenges, of setbacks and growth, of dabbling in the darkness and reaching for the light, this show is the coming together of all aspects of my creativity. Through the process I have picked myself apart, and like the world we now find ourselves in, I am putting myself back together in a way that is stronger than before," says Sonny.

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