From an early age Robert Rorich, or Robbie as his family and friends know him, showed an interest in the people, landscapes, and opportunities around him. It was during his schooling years in White River, Mpumalanga that these interests blossomed into passions. Assembling Lego creations developed into modelling life forms out of clay whilst running around the garden with friends developed into an admirable trail running ability.
Robbie talks fondly of his time at school where early inspiration came in the form of the people around him and nature. “I was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time in the bush”, he says. During his later years of high school, Robbie “fell in love with making sculptures”. It was at this time that he was commissioned to make a life-size bronze sculpture of two school students which stands as a centerpiece of the school’s fountain, replacing the sculpture of one of his idols: Dylan Lewis. The piece consists of two figures, the one inverted, locked in hand with a balloon “floating downwards”. This work is a true reflection of Robbie’s ability to question the world around him whilst still transferring happiness and positivity from his sources of inspiration into the viewer.
A curiosity for the physical world and a passion for mathematics lead Robbie to Cape Town to study Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering at UCT. With a continued curiosity in the world and a passion for adventure Robbie, his sister, and a handful of friends spent the year travelling down the length of Africa on their bicycles.
In his body of sculpture work, Robbie transformed his inspirations into tangible recreations of life that transform the spaces they fill. “I am in love with movement, human and other animal bodies, and the positive energy that comes from the natural world around us. I have a deep love and ever-increasing appreciation for all that is alive. I have a pull to recreate these forms in sculpture and on paper. There is no way of making a living entity more alive than it already is but I hope that, through my sculptures, animals and people are able to come alive in the space in which they are placed. The animals guide my hands, I feel surges of intense energy that last for days while making sculptures. Through being present and allowing myself to open up to the subject of what I am sculpting I feel that I am guided from start to end by a spiritual connection to my subject matter - be it a Crocodile or a Goliath Heron. I am quite sure that it's not just me who makes the sculptures.”
Robbie’s work is currently exhibited in private collections across South Africa.