I was approached recently by Natural Landscape Magazine to be part of their 2015 Spring/Summer issue, as one of the featured visual artists.
It is a great publication, which explores the challenges of outdoor living and landscaping in Canada, elegantly and creatively. They take landscaping seriously as an art form, promoting the awesome professionals in that field.
The visual artist feature is a nice touch, an accent, which speaks clearly about the place of imagination in the creation of fine landscape.
Note: The magazine is in the process of rebranding. The Spring/Summer issue will be published as Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine.
Candle Ice, 1999, Yukon Arts Centre Gallery Permanent Collection
“My intention is to create beautifully original sculpture, ethically and sustainably, directly from nature in found antler, horn, ivory, bone and bronze—the carving suggestive of a way forward for our rapidly changing planet, one in which we’ll create beautifully original solutions, ethically and sustainably, directly with nature.”
Shane Wilson –Artist Statement
Organic and non-organic forms and materials co-exist within master carver Shane Wilson’s powerful carvings of horn, ivory, antler and bronze. The carvings are abstracted, sleek and refined, yet his materials, such as mammoth ivory, might be up to 40 000 years old and their original shape is rough.
Formerly based in the Yukon for many years, residing in Whitehorse and Faro, Wilson’s work is held in the Yukon Government Permanent Art Collection, the Yukon Arts Centre Permanent Collection, the Haines Junction Permanent Art Collection and the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto Contemporary Art Collection amongst others.
Wilson’s signature duality is evident in the Yukon Art Centre’s Permanent Art Collection piece Candle Ice, a smooth moose antler carved into jagged triangular shapes that resemble daggers of ice like those found alongside a frozen river. The smooth precision of the carving is a transformation of the original antler, likely shed by a moose just after mating season.
Many viewers wonder if the piece is made of one solid piece of antler, or if it was created with multiple pieces of antler adhered together. Impressively, Candle Ice was carved as one individual form with geometric shapes created out of the core naturally shaped antler.
In 2012, the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto commissioned Wilson to re-create Candle Ice for the lobby of their Hotel. The following video shows the incredible transformation of raw material into spectacular sculpture, and the installation in its current location.
Where can you spot Wilson’s artwork around the Yukon?
Yukon Seasons, Yukon Government Permanent Collection, located on the second floor of the Canada Games Centre:
Canada Winter Games Yukon Torch (2007), located at the Canada Games Centre, overlooking the Flexihall and the Soccer Field:
Candle Ice (1999) located in the Lobby of the Yukon Arts Centre:
The Shooting of Dan McGrew (2004) by Shane Wilson and Dwayne Cull, located in the MacBride Museum of Yukon History. This piece is made of mammoth ivory, mahogany and gold nugget:
Gaia (2009) from the Skullpture Series, made of moose antler and bronze. This piece is on display at the St. Elias Convention Centre in Haines Junction along with a collection of bronze sculptures from the same series, as part of the Haines Junction Permanent Art Collection:
Learn more about Shane Wilson and see more of his artwork at his personal artist website, www.shanewilson.com
“MoPCA has a sculpture wing that ranges from gentle objects of virtue to monumental works. One intricate grouping now on loan is Shane Wilson’s ‘Seahorses’ crafted out of moose antler. Note the homage to the hieroglyph and the various textures.” Graydon Parish
In its nascent incarnation, MoPCA has borrowed ‘Seahorses’ by Shane Wilson, to form part of the museum’s first exhibition. ‘Seahorses’ is currently on display along with a stunning collection of paintings and sculpture.
I have signed up and uploaded a number of my images, now available in a variety of formats: fine art prints, canvas reproductions, greeting cards, and device skins and cases.
Feel free to browse and buy! And if there’s an image that I haven’t included that you’d like, let me know and I’ll include it.
It is time to reaffirm made art as objects of human value, as something good, something fine. It is time to restore beauty, transcendence and timelessness to objects made, artfully sprung from the human soul.
Doing so serves a larger purpose: it restores a sense of hope for the future; a resolve to move past the impending apocalypse caused by our collective weight and waste on the planet.
To make a better way.
Richard Thomas Scott distinguishes the intention of Post Contemporary from the current scene,
“Since ‘Contemporary Art’ is defined as: Art which owes its foundation to post-modernism, and whose concepts focus primarily on transient issues of the present moment - as opposed to simply "art being created within our lifetime"...
Then Post Contemporary is a separate paradigm whose primary concepts address the timeless, eternal, and the human condition.
In contrast with the pre-modernists, i.e. before the 20th century, the post contemporary is concerned with re-constructing meaningful traditions, that were deconstructed in the post-modern paradigm... not necessarily in the same form as before, but drawing upon an unprecedented access to knowledge of every era in history.
Though it draws upon the traditions of the past and is in continuity with the past, it is forward-looking.”
He goes on to explain that, “’Post contemporary’ is not owned or originated by any individual. It is ... a philosophically driven paradigm shift within which many movements may take place - like modernism and post-modernism before it.”
As a beginning Graydon Parrish suggests that Post Contemporary Art consist of the following broad attributes:
1. Skill - “Contemporary art erased skill. It is vital to Post Contemporary.”
2. Beauty - “While it is difficult to find a universal beauty that will satisfy everyone, it does no good to erase the word. We all have experienced it and we understand the difference between it and ugliness. Furthermore, beauty can be a perspective. One can approach the world seeking it and find it in unexpected places.”
3. Humanism - “The outlook that people are valuable. Empathy comes to mind as well.”
4. Creativity - “Creativity suggests vitality, not negativity. A nihilistic work isn't creative but rather destructive. One can certainly express dissatisfaction with the world through art, but merely reflecting what is bad is not enough.”
5. Communication - “Vagueness as a rule is unacceptable to Post Contemporary art.”
Graydon thinks of these five attributes as starting points. He hopes they bring “lots of debate.”