I spend a lot of time at a nearby beach on Lake Ontario, drawn by wind and wave, and especially by the rocky shingle of the shoreline. More often than not, I begin re-arranging stones, sometimes walking the beach’s length (about a half-mile or so) placing larger stone markers amidst the smaller stuff at the very edge of the surf. Continue reading
Okay, so I start, at the titular level, with a cosmological reference: the idea of the missing mass in the universe, that those all-important galaxies strewn throughout the cosmos (and within one of which we exist) don’t seem to contain enough mass to account for galactic rotation. Herein was born the idea of “dark matter.” Continue reading
Think of glass in a sculptural context and, well, it’s likely that the first (if not only) artist who comes to mind is Dale Chihuly.
Glass, it seems, has a bit of a perception problem. Either it’s showy sculptural installation of the Chihuly sort, or it’s the functional stuff of everyday, domestic use (within which I include the showier utilitarian stuff). Glass is a bit either/or that way, despite the best efforts of contemporary artists seeking to expand its presence, to bridge the fecund middle ground between the utile at one end of the spectrum and the ornamental at the other. So what’s an artist to do? Continue reading
When last we spoke about what I’ve been calling “figuration ” – the aesthetic drive towards representing the living, breathing organisms that populate this here planet (even if only in our fevered imaginations – I’d introduced work that tended towards the smaller scale, towards sculptures that referenced figurines, addressing issues raised by such mass-produced items of collectible nostalgia, like Hummel or Royal Doulton figurines, or the even smaller stuff that once came with the tea bags we purchased. Continue reading
In an earlier blog posting, I wrote about the “school” of 1:1 sculpture as it had manifested itself in the work of some faculty and students at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) in Halifax. Amongst the names was one artist whose work I didn’t discuss at any great length because in some ways it stood apart, despite having been extremely influential in the goings-on at the aesthetic hothouse that was the sculpture department of the period: Robin Peck. Continue reading
I don’t have knick-knacks, but I do have a dog.
Not a live one, but a small ceramic representation of a reclining German Shepherd. It has a chipped ear. And it was made in West Germany, which dates it, and me as well, for it’s something that I’ve owned most of my life. Continue reading
I first encountered the work of Canadian artist Ilan Sandler in the summer of 2004. By “encountered,” I mean the experiential thing, not the second-hand meeting of a sculptor’s work – the mere seeing of it – in an image. This is an important distinction at so many levels, but for me it had to do with a meaningful encounter with scale. With big. Continue reading