Wildfowl Art-Journal of Ward Museum, Summer 2010

Ward Museum Wildfowl Art Journal - Cover, Summer 2010

Wildfowl Art is a semi-annual publication of the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art. Jim Clark writes of his experience studying with master sculptors Floyd Scholz and Shane Wilson prior to his submission of a carved antler sculpture for the 2010 Ward World Champion Wildfowl Carving Competition.

Ward Museum Wildfowl Art Journal - Article by Jim Clark

Wildfowl Art of a Different Nature
by Jim Clark, Sculptor

I have been transforming moose antler into birds since about 1995, but I had not competed in bird carving competitions until recently because of their exclusivity to wood. So during the summer 2009, with guidance from the inimitable Floyd Scholz, I tried my hand at carving a bird from wood.
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Branch Magazine, Home, Part 2 - Collaboration

Branch Magazine 2.2, Home Part 2 - Cover

Branch Magazine is a national quarterly online magazine devoted to exploring the rifts and overlaps of visual and literary arts while showcasing emerging and professional Canadian artists and creators. Branch features contemporary literature, art and design and aims to produce a compelling panoply of art in different media. Kudos to founders Gillian Sze and Rob Huynh (Roberutsu). Shane's work 'The Shooting of Dan McGrew' is featured in the Collaboration section.

Branch Magazine 2.2, Home Part 2 - Intro

HOME - Part 2
by Rob Huynh (Roberutsu), Arts Editor and Gillian Sze, Literary Editor

We don't usually have multiple parts to an issue but because this one was whoppin' huge, we figure it's either "go big or go home." (Oh wait, we did both, didn't we?)

As you probably already noticed, our cover for 2.2 is a tad different. We got our feature artist, cartoonist and Doug Wright Award winner Joe Ollmann, to illustrate something special for us...


You'll also notice a new section in this issue: Collaboration, which should be fairly self-explanatory. This section features sculptors Shane Wilson and Dwayne Cull whose art piece is inspired by a poem by Canadian poet, Robert Service. Read More...

Wildlife Art Journal - Spring 2010

Note: the following article appears in the Spring 2010 issue of the on-line Wildlife Art Journal and can be viewed here, complete with 37 images from Shane Wilson's portfolio. Consider subscribing to this publication for $15 annually -- it is a wonderful source of the latest and best from the world of wildlife art. (This is a modified version of the article published in Trophy Rooms, including Robert Bateman's opinion of Shane's work.)

Shane Wilson: Honouring The Power of Wild Life
Canadian Artist Makes A Contemporary Statement With 'Skullpture' Written By Todd Wilkinson

Shane Wilson’s art does not conform to a known vernacular, neither within sculpture, nor carving, nor the contemporary language of found objects and mixed materials.

Shane Wilson

Shane Wilson

However he is classified, Wilson’s creations stir up something deep within us—a mystery that cannot be explained easily in words. It could be the palmate shape of a moose antler that fans the inner flame of an archetypal memory, or the tusk of an Ice Age woolly mammoth, or the ivory gleam of a near-mythological narwhal inscribed with symbolism that reads like an ancient petroglyph.
 
Seeing them on the wall or under protective case, it is our sublime delight—and the artist’s challenge issued to us—to try and decode the hidden messages.     

Art and nature form a breathtaking confluence in an extraordinary, evocative portfolio “For me, the message is all about who we are as people today,” Wilson says.  “We live in a world of intriguing duality.”


Whether we dwell in a city or remote bush community; whether commuting to work in a skyscraper or making our living off the land; whether sojourning for subsistence in the wilderness or escaping into backyard woodlots, there is something ineffable about the headgear of animals that he reinterprets.



"This art of Neolithic and contemporary tribal peoples, to me, ranks with any art of world history.  Its inventiveness, rhythm and abstract design is as high in quality as early 20th century modernist art."   
—Robert Bateman


Under Wilson’s command, antler and ivory not only fill a room with ambiance and character; they flood an even larger space—the 21st century imagination—with a sense of adventure, compelling us to ponder our primitive connections to a distant past and our contemporary world.

Celtic Confusion, 1998 (carved moose antler)

Celtic Confusion, 1998 (carved moose antler)

Like a large landscape painting on the wall of a museum or the substantive heft exuding from a mass of bronze sculpture, Wilson’s work has a magnetic effect.  Regardless of its size, it can bestow even a great hall with a feeling of majesty.

For years, before making his home near the Pacific Ocean on Vancouver Island, he remained largely off the radar screen of collectors because the solace-loving artist resided in the isolated interior of the Yukon.


Wilson is making a name for himself and it is well worth our time to take notice. His transcendent blending of classical taxidermy with the fine art traditions of carving and foundry work are attracting attention from collectors and museums across the continent.  “When I think of carving, I think of the great European traditions of stone carving, and the Celtic tradition of carving in antler, wood and stone,” he says.  


The eminent Canadian nature artist Robert Bateman, who dwells on Salt Spring Island, near Vancouver, observes,  “Wilson's work is a powerful evocation of this heritage but he goes much further in innovation and creativity. Rather than decorating a utilitarian object he produces stand alone objects of art that always seem fresh and surprising. Fresh and surprising are words that seldom apply to the vast majority of art turned out these days."

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'Shane Wilson: Honouring the Power of Wildlife', Editorial by Todd Wilkinson - Trophy Rooms Around the World, Vol. 15, 2010

Trophy Rooms from Around the World: An Idea and Source Book, Vol. 15, 2010 - cover

Todd Wilkinson has written the following editorial on Shane Wilson and his art for Trophy Rooms Around the World, Vol. 15, an annual book published by and available from Pro Guide Publishing.

Todd is an award-winning professional journalist who has covered stories from around the world for the last quarter century. In 2009 he co-founded the online art magazine,
Wildlife Art Journal. He is also the author of several books, including the authorized biographies of sculptor Kent Ulberg and U.S. media mogul Ted Turner.

Shane Wilson: Honouring the Power of Wild Life, by Todd Wilkinson - p156,7
Trophy Rooms Around the World, Vol. 15, 2010 (pages 156, 157)

They stir up something deep within us—a mystery that cannot be explained in words. It could be the palmate shape of a moose antler that fans the flames, or the tusk of an Ice Age woolly mammoth, or the ivory gleam of a near-mythological narwhal inscribed with symbolism that reads like an ancient petroglyph.
 
Seeing them on the wall or under protective case, it is our sublime delight—and the artist’s challenge issued to us—to try and decode the hidden messages.     

Art and nature form a breathtaking confluence in the extraordinary, evocative portfolio of Canadian carver-sculptor Shane Wilson. “For me, the message is all about who we are as people today,” Wilson says.  “We live in a world of intriguing duality.”
Read More...

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