For the past ten years, I have been working with mixed media assemblage, engaging with the familiar shape of a vessel, barely contained within shadow box frames. Reimagining the familiar, my contemporary compositions invite connection with ancient wisdom and emergent stories through engagement with the natural world. This work pushes that form into the sculptural realm, exploring new possibilities of shadow and light, and invites a deeper dialogue with place.
It was more than a year into the pandemic, amidst increasingly visible social inequity, in a time of climate change, that the urge to create “Flight” was born. The work responds to these collective experiences, paying homage to the losses while honouring the strength and hope that are being revealed in this moment, both in human communities and also the wider, ecological communities with whom we share the earth.
The three stones were selected for their aesthetic beauty, but they were also selected for the visual narrative they offer. The top stone carries the image of a bird taking flight. The middle stone has the subtle shape and line that is echoed in the sculpture. The final stone is a beautiful rendering of the layers of the earth. All three stones were found at the shore of Lake Ontario. Using the stones in the sculpture also opens up the possibility of adding stones at random, at will, or even playfully, to the base of the sculpture. The stones may echo the place, offering a visual history of human relationship to the land, both pre- and post-colonial, and also the deeper sense of geological time that the sculptural materials embody.
In a nod to the ever-changing earth, the bright flame of copper has been pulled through the fire, and burnished in the most natural of ways, inviting rich colours that will alter over time, more and more reflecting the colours of the earth as time goes on.
This sculpture is one artist’s way of honouring the timeless qualities of hope and resilience, and bearing witness to the paradox of the earth’s fragility and strength.
The materials are aluminum blasted with a non-metallic material; copper burnished in fire and coated; solid bronze and brass (not plated); nylon (washers); and stones. Over a period of time the copper will gain a weathered patina. The spacer plate between the copper and aluminum is ABS trim board, painted. The adhesive is Power Grab ‘N Go by C-Tek in the UK, a heavy-duty construction fixative amenable to extreme weather. The trim board is attached to the aluminum using the adhesive and counter-sunk zinc-plated self-tapping bolts, coated with anti-seize compound to protect the two metals from each other. The copper is attached using adhesive and bronze bolts into the ABS board. The stones are held in place with a type of threaded stainless steel rod that does not cause corrosion in other metals. To avoid corrosion and degradation over time, at no other point are different types of metal in contact with each other. The sculpture is built to withstand winds of 170 kilometers.
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