I graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 1969 and therefore have been a professional sculptor for over thirty years, a number which always surprises me. 

Perhaps this is because I was born an artist, rather than becoming one, and dates, and times, and diplomas mean little when it is an instinctive way of life. To distill those particular professional years into accomplishments I am most proud of is also an unfamiliar exercise. However, I do have professional and social accomplishments to define here.

 

As a sculptor in welded steel and bronze, I have found that my best work emerges when I set out to do something that I suspect may not be possible in my medium. Because welded steel is a relatively new sculptural medium compared to bronze, wood, or stone, there were, in my early years, no examples of certain techniques, and certainly no-one to show me how. It therefore forced a kind of innovation. Perhaps there has been someone working somewhere parallel to me, developing the same techniques and getting the same results. I have not seen it. I therefore feel that my efforts to express ideas with this untraditional material have helped to develop welded steel sculpture.

 

Metal, particularly welded steel, is a commanding material and I must work in co-operation with it, rather than fighting it. It really is a partnership between the metal and me. I have learned that I must allow the material to speak with my voice. The pieces that give me the most pride and joy are when the steel medium and the artistís spirit combine successfully. It is then a marriage of material and subject matter, and a true work of art.

My work can be very small or very large, rough or smooth, monochromatic or colourful. It can range in subject matter from a tiny sculpture of a flower, where the curve of the leaf makes one think it is real, to a ten inch bronze or steel female figure that seems human in its detail and beauty, to the fantasy faces that command the wall, to a study of a crow, steely-natured, with blue-black torch-coloured wings, to a life-size figure such as Silhouette, chunks of weathered steel speaking of power and wild nature. 

These sculptures tell others about the metal and about me. Every artist wants to accomplish just that. I have accomplished it, sometimes, not every time. 

But every now and then, I walk into a room, and see a sculpture I created twenty years ago, which the owner still loves, which is a well crafted, good quality work, which still says exactly what I meant it to say. What an amazing reward that is. It is my message. It is my gift. It is what keeps me working.

Hilary Clark Cole

  

All artwork on this page is copyrighted by Hilary Clark Cole. 
It may not be copied or reproduced by any means or used without the expressed approval of Hilary Clark Cole.

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