At Pangea we specialise in hand sculpted African animals for your home and garden. The animals are all created by the Ark Collective, based in Nairobi, and start life as scrap metal of all shapes and sizes. The artisans in the collective all come from the same community and creating the sculptures for Pangea has brought them financial stability as well as a chance to show their creative skill. The animals are all handmade and come in a wonderful variety of different species and sizes; they are shipped to the UK to be hand finished and have protective lacquers applied so that the sculptures are easily able to survive the British climate.
Each animal sculpture is based on a creature that is found in Africa so the artists are very familiar with them and can really bring out the creatures individual characteristics. Each artisan works for numerous hours on a piece depending on the size, with elephants, giraffes, rhinos, and buffalo typically taking the longest to produce. The materials that are used are all discarded from industry and would otherwise just be scrapped, making the creation of the sculptures an environmentally friendly use and a sustainable long term project for the workers.
Once the metal has been selected the sculptors begin to think about how they will use each piece in the finished sculpture and will construct an armature that the metal can be welded to, giving the structure integrity and strengthening the finished pieces. Each animal is made up of lots of different panels and specially made smaller elements that give them a unique look, and though an individual sculptor may make a few of one particular animal, no two will be exactly the same.
Since Pangea’s involvement with the community in Nairobi, the artisan workforce has increased which has had a positive impact on the lives of the people, and the investment in new tools, safety equipment and new workshop means greater efficiency and better working conditions for all of the artists.