Local sculptor’s giant giraffe to Texas

A nine metre giraffe in cold bronze is on its way to Texas all the way from De Wildt!

Fredrich Peens (centre) with Moses Tshehla and Niel Croote who assisted him with the construction of the giraffe.

The giant giraffe was sculpted by sculptor Frederich Peens at a factory in De Wildt and it has taken almost two years for the impressive animal to finally leave for its new luxurious new home in Texas.

Frederich was commissioned by the Kalahari Resorts Group to sculpt the life-like giraffe for one of its flagship resorts with an African theme. Although the giraffe is being shipped this week, the resort has already rendered an image online to display the magnificent animal at the resort.

“The resort has an Africa vibe and wildlife sculptures such as elephants, zebra etc. are part of the resort’s theme,” Frederich says. He also completed a life-size Bison for an American client, but the giraffe is his biggest art piece yet. “It took two years until it was finally finished. A lot of research and experiments went into it. The steel work inside the giraffe was complicated because of the animal’s thin legs and the sculpture will have to withstand winds of up to 150 km/ph where it will be located. After a lot of planning, we finally began the sculpting and construction seven months ago,” he says.

Frederich sculpted the giraffe in fibre glass mixed with a bronze powder. Because of its size, it could not be a single piece. “The giraffe is now being shipped in pieces and will have to be assembled there. Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 pandemic I will probably not be allowed to do it myself. This is really frustrating as I would like to complete the final product. I will have to give instructions and this will not probably be done virtually. It is just really disappointing.”

Frederich, formerly a forensic anthropologist with the police who were involved with skull reconstruction, started sculpting seriously about 30 years ago. Initially he was a partner in a garden sculpture business for which he sculpted and cast garden art pieces into cement for nurseries and other outlets.

A rendering of the giraffe at the Kalahari Resort in Texas

He later worked with well-known artist Kobus Moller on projects. He was also responsible for the huge dolphin and mermaid sculpture at African Island on Beethoven Road in Melodie.

“This was a really interesting challenge and I enjoyed it. Hopefully there are more in the pipeline in the near future.”