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