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Bears and bulls a hit in the business world

SCULPTOR Robert Hitchcock has managed to break into the corporate market in Perth with a range of cast bronze bears and bulls.

Despite the gloomy economic forecasts, many local businesses have shown considerable interest in the works and Mr Hitchcock plans to take the sculptures to Sydney and Melbourne later this year.

Mr Hitchcock said he hopes businesspeople will buy the artworks as an investment rather than putting money into something like shares.

“People buy my works as an investment instead of buying shares and if you buy sculpture you’ve got aesthetic value too,” he said.

“I sold a couple of sculptures years ago for a couple of hundred dollars and now they are being on sold for thousands of dollars.”

Best known for his sculpture of Aboriginal figure Yagan, Mr Hitchcock has developed a reputation as a sculptor without exhibiting in commercial galleries.

“What I plan to do is go to cities and book out an upmarket hotel room and show the sculptures, I deal direct with clients and avoid the galleries,” he said.

“People who go to galleries are interested in paintings they can hang on a wall, they have a resistance to sculpture.”

Mr Hitchcock said he works on a lot of portrait busts for individual clients and has completed a series of heads of famous sporting figures for the Superdome.

After leaving school at the age of 13 and starting a diploma as an apprentice carpenter, Mr Hitchcock enrolled in art school at what was then Perth Technical College.

“My high school teacher said I would either go on to do something great or get hanged,” Mr Hitchcock said.

“I was thrown out of the painting class and I went down to the sculpture room and I’ve never looked back.”

The process of taking the simple raw materials and modelling them into different forms has never lost it’s magic for Mr Hitchcock.

“I have fun with it, it’s like being a magician. I take the materials and model them into sculptures and put a life and energy into them,” Mr Hitchcock said.

“It’s a sense of being on a high most of the time and learning by mistakes most of the time, for my whole life it will be like this always trying to surpass myself.”

In the chaos of Mr Hitchcock’s Dianella studio every surface is stacked with works in progress from busts and figurines to three metre sheaves of wheat.

Currently Mr Hitchcock is working on a number of bulls and bears and a life-sized model of a Clydesdale horse.

“There’s a truth and sincerity in the work that people see,” Mr Hitchcock said.

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