A life-size bronze sculpture by the renowned British sculptor Tessa Campbell Fraser FRBS, has been unveiled this weekend at Thirlestane Castle’s inaugural Sir Jackie Stewart Classic.

Tessa Campbell Fraser was born in Edinburgh in 1967 and studied at Chelsea School of Art. One of the country’s leading equestrian and animal artists in both painting and sculpture, her work has been exhibited worldwide, won many awards and is featured in private collections in Australia, South Africa, Monaco and the USA.

In addition, Tessa has fulfilled commissions for Her Majesty the Queen, (her life size bronze sculpture of the Queen’s Gold Cup winner Estimate stands at the entrance of Sandringham House) HRH Prince Fahd Salman, the Household Cavalry and Knuthenborg Safari Park, Denmark. Tessa was elected an Associate Member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 2001 and made a Fellow in 2004.

The piece of sculpture is called ‘Red Highland Stag During Rut’ and it seems Tessa’s affection for deer derives from her Scottish heritage.

She said: “Having been born in Scotland and walked on the Highland moors, I have great admiration for the Red Highland Stag. This powerful beast is especially spectacular (and noisy) at the rut when, with its massive antlers, it aims to conquer rival male stags and win the females. My work aims to capture the majesty of this remarkable native Scottish animal.”

To make her sculptures Tessa first creates a small maquette from life which she uses as her reference (the original maquette for Red Highland Stag is also in the silent auction). The initial process is welding a full-size steel armature, like a skeleton frame, which she then models over using clay. After this, a rubber mould is made, followed by a wax version which is finally cast in bronze. Tessa is personally involved in all stages at the foundry.

The stag is available for sale in support of The Race Against Dementia charity, a global charity founded by Sir Jackie Stewart OBE to raise money for research into prevention and treatment for dementia, a disease that affects 50 million people worldwide including his beloved wife, Helen.

Thirlestane Castle family resident, Edward Maitland-Carew with artist Tessa Campbell Fraser by the artist’s bronze sculpture at Thirlestane Castle for the Sir Jackie Stewart Classic motorsport festival.  Photography by Phil Wilkinson