The Sculptor’s Society of Canada presents their collaborative exhibition, You + Me = Us, which assembles the works of twelve sculptors that strive to encapsulate their unique notions of human identity and contemporary culture. Each artist masterfully shapes their chosen medium – which consists of bronze, plaster, steel, clay, silicon, or other materials that are likewise treated through a wide variety of methods and techniques – into distinctive figures that evoke different personalities and sentiments.
Upon entering the space, audiences are greeted by John Clinton’s bronze statuettes: Gus and Lunch Break. Having always focused his sculpture on portrayal, Clinton utilizes a myriad of techniques to treat the surface and texture of his figures, effectively altering their outward personality. Working with wood, stone, and metal throughout his career has subsequently influenced his transition to bronze forging, as he strives to emulate their qualities in the metal to tell his personal stories.
Camie Geary-Martin, Woman Looking Left & Woman with Cat (left) & John Clinton, Gus (right)
Stemming from a plethora of experience with clay, mold making, casting wax, bronzing, and patina, Camie Geary-Martin’s latest works reflect her transition from representational to semi-abstract forms. Concerned with the portrayal of the human figure, abstraction permits her to explore the materials more sensitively, emphasizing its compositional and physical attributes.
Marlene Kawalez intent on capturing the moment when the material presents its implanted narrative.She juxtaposes found wood and clay to create harmonic figures that visualize their laden qualities and the stories they unravel.
Marlene Kawalez, Dreaming
Believing in the potential societal and philosophical impact of art, Eamon employs sculpture and other media as means to communicate complex, contradicting, and captivating themes. His works are deliberately elusive, for his intent is not to provide concrete answers but rather stimulate interpersonal discussion and introspective contemplation.
Eamon, Me, Myself & I
Peter Shoebridge believes that despite the perceived lifelessness of sculpture, the deliberate manipulation of the medium’s form and figure can assume lifelike and existential characteristics. Drawing from his interest in portraiture, his work Icara seeks to imitate organic subjects to capture the vitality of the human spirit and of nature.
Peter Shoebridge, Icara
As a commissioned mould maker, Art DiLella demonstrates his mastery of silicon and photorealism to deceive the audience’s perceptions. Through intensive detail, Alanna represents a stunningly realistic portrait that draws in its viewers and challenges their notions of reality.
Art DiLella – Alanna
Richard McNeill utilizes an interesting blend of fired clay, fibreglass & steel alumina cement, & an oil encaustic finish to create enticing textures and vibrant colors. This combined with his organic forms and contemplative subject offer a profound and exciting experience for audiences.
Richard McNeill, Memory Stream (Reverie)
Bastien Martel brings forth some works from his ongoing series that explores the anonymity and subjectivity of the human condition. He is welding cut square shaped pieces of steel together; as in a three-dimensional mosaic.
Bastien Martel, Reconnu & Karen Stoskopf Harding, The Princess
Karen Stoskopf Harding focuses intensely on the fascinating details of human face as they can reflect rich experiences and narratives. Using plaster and pigmented with an antique finish, The Princess is intended as a face of “national identity” and memorialization.
The sculptures of J. Mac are iconographically and emotionally powerful, emulating religious and spiritual motifs in order to navigate the politics of living, the societal implications of our contemporary contexts, and our inherent vulnerabilities as humans.
J. Mac, Black Virgin
Brett Davis draws his inspirations from historical ingenuity, as our ancestors – particularly from Gothic architects – were successful in marrying the human form with structural features and spatial concepts. His works minimize detail to its basest shapes and contours in order to unify them symbolically to emphasize the beauty of art and architecture.
Brett Davis, King and Queen (left) & Elaine Jaques, Rooted (right)
Elaine Jaques, deviating from the niched depiction of the human face, focuses on the authentic portrayal of gesture, which in of itself holds deeply ingrained connotations. Her seated figures seek to evoke intrinsically multi-faceted and individualized responses in the viewers, stressing the subtlety and nuance of form.
From the contemplatively sombre to the delightfully candid, You + Me = Us showcases the sheer diversity and talent of the SSC membership, offering much to appreciate.
Text and photo: Simon Termine
*Exhibition information: July 24 – September 7, 2018, Canadian Sculpture Centre, 500 Church Street. Gallery hours: Tue – Fri, 12 – 6; Sat, 11 – 4 pm.