When Bruce and Silvia arrived to the coffee gathering, they wheeled up on their tandem bicycle. Bruce is a cycling advocate and environmentally conscious guy. Silvia is a delight, sharing this wonderful ride with Bruce.
Right away upon meeting Bruce his sensitive to the environment became apparent. When I recently visited his studio I was able to see this gorgeous piece in person. It's a prime example of how he applies his values to his work.
Humanity, functions as a superorganism within the limits of our planetary environment and there is reason to be concerned about consumption of the resources available.
The contours, edges and texture of cararra are timelessly organic and invite touch and connection. Cararra Marble, Sodalite, Bronze. 18″ h x 17″ d x 11″ w.
When I asked Bruce "Why stone, why not wood or some other material?" He told me how attracted he is to the permanence of the stone. There is something precious and timeless when you create in stone. Each type of stone brings different qualities and colour to the designing process. In his work he also combines wonderful textures, cast bronze, and multiple materials.
You have probably heard the description of how Michelangelo sculpted by removing all the unnecessary marble in order to reveal the piece within. This has the feel of 'wingin it' from the start. Bruce prefers to have plan when he creates. Again I think this comes down to honouring the stone, valuing the resource and wanted to make the best use of it.
As our conversation continued, he told me about a commission appointment with a client. Their desire was for an inukshuk. He suggested that he pop by her place to have a look where the sculpture would site and get a feel for her home. When he arrived he was greeted by two rambunctious hound dogs. Clearly loves of her life. Bruce gently suggested that perhaps rather than an inukshuk a sculpture of her two dogs for the front yard would be more fitting. Her eyes lit up with excitement.
I love this interaction between client and artist.
From this stage Bruce created a maquette of what he had in mind. A maquette is a small sculpture created in a clay like material called Monster Clay. From this maquette the client is then able to see the three dimensional idea of what Bruce has in mind.
Once an artist becomes proficient, which Bruce clearly is, commissions become a wonderful opportunity to explore ideas and create something specifically catering to a clients needs.
After speaking to Bruce for even a short period of time it becomes clear that there are some real limitations for sculptors simply because the weight, dimensions and expense to display the pieces within conventional shows. From the plinth to support the piece, the floor space it takes up, and the weight to ship and install - there certainly are challenges.
However, Bruce is so keen to support the development of sculpture opportunities. He is the first juried Signature Member of the Federation of Canadian Artists. Which is the largest non-profit arts organization in Canada and has been around for 85+ years. Founded by the group of seven, namely Lawren Harris on the West Coast and supported by Emily Carr. It was important for Bruce to be juried into the Federation as peer review is a wonderful testing ground for artists talent. As the Federation re-opens their shows to sculpture after a 50 year hiatus, Bruce is directly involved assist the transition wherever needed.
It also struck me that Bruce has a collaborative mindset. I think too often artists can feel secretive about their work feeling like competition is something is a threat. Bruce has a different opinion. By collaborating together we can accomplish so much more than we can alone.
I completely agree.
Belonging to many arts organizations gives him the perfect opportunity to support and grow awareness around sculpture.
I hope you have enjoyed this introduction to a local South Surrey/White Rock artist creating incredible sculptures in stone, wood and multiple materials. You can see more of his work by clicking on the link below.