June 23 - July 14
Public Reception: Saturday, June 23, 1pm-4pm

Space, the final frontier. Clank is Brendan Duggan’s ongoing mission to explore strange new ways of space travel, to seek out unusual materials and new sculptural concepts, to boldly go where no artist has gone before.  

Science fiction television shows and movies from his youth, such as Star Trek, Star Wars and the Red Dwarf, continue to inspire Brendan in the making of his art. “I’m looking for a rougher, more utilitarian view than what is seen in most of the modern glossy shows,” says Brendan who is also motivated by science fiction authors such as Isaac Asimov, Phillip K. Dick, Ian M. Banks and William Gibson.  

Not all of Brendan’s work revolves around using found objects but it is one aspect of his work that he enjoys. “To have some object that some unknown engineer worked on and being able to imagine it for a new aesthetics purpose is intriguing,” remarks Brendan.  

“Understanding the engineering behind machinery and architecture has been a life-long obsession,” Brendan reveals. “I enjoy trying to figure out how and why someone has engineered an object in a certain way.” This fascination is carried into his studio as Brendan enjoys the problem solving nature of his work. “Every time I step in the studio, I look forward to having an issue to resolve and more to arise,” says the artist who also likes playing hockey and chess.  

Working with metal and using found objects presents Brendan with many physical and technical challenges. “For me, the initial idea is the main thing,” Brendan explains. “My sketch books bring me more joy than the finished work. I’ve always drawn pictures and I can photographically remember drawing pictures as young as five years old. It’s interesting to go back through them and see what I’m still working with, what images and ideas that gets repeated over and over.”

Brendan’s interest in art began during high school. He then went on to study at the Ontario College of Art but the experience wasn’t what he expected so he took some time off, returning to his studies at the Toronto School of Art where he earned a diploma. At first, Brendan thought he would become a painter but it wasn’t until completing a few early sculptures that something clicked about holding a finished object. A job in a welding shop then taught Brendan the skills of a metalworker.  

To create his sculptures, Brendan uses a variety of metal working techniques along with a few blacksmithing “tricks” he prefers to keep as trade secrets. The sculptures and drawings in Clank are a fleet of spaceships that include an energy tanker, war ships and ground vehicles.  

Brendan hopes that visitors to his exhibition will have more questions than the exhibition answers. “I certainly do after thinking about and making this work.”  

Clank opens with a public reception on Saturday, June 23 from 1pm until 4pm. The exhibition continues at the Chapel Gallery until July 14.

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Located at 15 King Street in Bracebridge, the gallery is open year-round, Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm. It is closed during the last week of September and the second week of October as well as between Christmas and New Year’s Days. Please check the Calendar of Events for the actual dates. For a map, please follow this link.

Exhibitions are booked one year in advance.  To learn how to apply for a show, please follow this link: Exhibition Application.

The Chapel Gallery was opened in September, 1989. Housed in a reconstruction of the first Presbyterian Church in Bracebridge, the Chapel Gallery hosts exhibitions of art and craft by our members and other local and provincial artists. Exhibitions are selected by the Gallery Committee and change every three to four weeks.

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Muskoka Arts & Crafts Inc. is located in the District Municipality of  Muskoka, Ontario, Canada.