The sculptor, Louis Chanu has had a passion for sculpting since he was a child. He has an incredible ability to transform any material into 3 dimensionality, be it wax, clay or new materials, which he is constantly investigating. He is also extremely versatile in his subject matter, having sculpted realistic figures, and at the same time abstract and organic shapes.
His scuptures have an emotional quality that give his bronzes life and energy.
Louis started a garden sculpture business "Chanu Creations" in 1994, and although this has been his “bread and butter” business, it has financially enabled him to pursue his passion of making original sculptures in wax and transforming them into bronze, where he can solely sculpt the subject matter that he loves. Louis started sculpting seriously in 1989 and is currently working towards a first major solo exhibition of bronzes only, with two collections; the first being "People of Africa", of which he has completed six of 15 different sculptures planned. Each of the sculptures in this collection will tell a different story of Africa in present time.
The second collection, which will be a separate exhibition, is a series of 15 different bronzes depicting “women of our time” of which he has completed nine. Each bronze woman is an edition of either 10 or 15.
2007 was a very successful year for Louis in terms of recognition of his bronze works, and culminated in the Captains Golf Day Charity Auction where four of his pieces were sold for record prices, one of which was bought by Johan Rupert. Louis' bronzes alone managed to raise R65000 for this charity day, which is a record amount raised for this charity.
2008 saw Louis featured as the guest artist at the opening of the prestigious Kanonkop Wine Estate Art Gallery, and his sculptures once again raised a large amount at the Arabella Golf Day Charity Auction.
In January 2009, Richard Branson phoned Louis to tell him how much he loves his sculpture “Virtual Reality”.
Louis' works have become increasingly popular, and are being sought after not only in South Africa, but also in Europe. The detail of how his sculpting career has progressed is listed below:
2009 Richard Branson acquires “Virtual Realilty”
2008 Louis’ bronzes again raise money for charity at Captains Golf Day Charity Auction at Arabella Golf Estate
2008 Louis is invited to be the featured sculptor at the opening of the prestigious Kanonkop Wine Estate Gallery.
2007 Johan Rupert acquires “Big Blues”
2007 Louis raises record amount for charity at Captains Golf Day Charity Auction held at Arabella Golf Estate
2007- to date Bronzes exhibited at Walker Bay Gallery
2006-2007 Bronzes exhibited at Reds Gallery
2004- Bronzes exhibited at Beauty of Africa Art Gallery.
2003- Bronzes exhibited at Everard Reid Gallery, Cape Town.
2002- Bronzes exhibited at Grosvenor Villa Art Gallery
2002- Started making originals for bronze “Women of our time” which were each editions of 10 or 15.
1994-2002: Concentrated on garden sculpture business. At the end of 2006, has made approximately 60 original garden sculptures as well as moulds thereof.
1993: Exhibited (clay) whales at Everard Reid Gallery, Rosebank.
1992-1994: Worked solely as a sculptor making originals. Had a gallery at “Treasure Trees” Farm, and did small commissions as well.
1991: Left work at Ziton to pursue sculpting interests. Started a small business manufacturing miniature bronzes, which were mounted on semi-precious stones.
1990: Started working at Ziton, but sculpting remained Louis’ passion, and he experimented a lot at this stage. His mentor was a Cape Town sculptor, Joe Farriger, who taught him about raku firing.
1989: Attended a course with Charles Goddard in Magaliesberg, and continued to sculpt whilst at EMS College in Johannesburg. Moved to Cape Town end 1989.
1988: Whilst at college in Gauteng, started sculpting in porcelain
Louis resides alongside a river on a plot in Grabouw, Western Cape with his wife and three children where his studio is. His other passion is flying, and he has been flying paragliders and paramotors for the past 15 years, and has more recently built his own 2-seater aircraft, which he has flown extensively around Southern Africa and Namibia. He is currently in the process of building an aluminium plane.