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p 15 • FALL/WINTER 2010

(go to the local hardware store) to get hand tools. This was more feasible for me and I could keep working. I kept that in mind, just watching studio practice that wasn’t based on the factory model they presented us with at the university. The factory model doesn’t work for all people. I tell my students you can’t rely on all the equipment at the University. Learn how to use it, but also learn how to get stuff going on your own.

J: Did growing up on the coast have an effect on your work? In what way does your present geography influence your work? B: I spend summers every year on the coast, around different areas, but mostly around Desolation Sound. I started to fix up a cabin on the coast on a small island off Gabriola. I stay out there two months in the summer. The coast inevitably affects you – some prairie people feel trapped on the islands. A sense of isolation affected my work, particularly a series called “Middle of Nowhere”. They are sort of looking at a distance at something, an island or a mirage off in a distance, isolated just by air. My new pieces have a more landscaped look to them. I didn’t plan to do that. They kind of came

out of the abstract, working just with shapes and letting them go where they would go. I didn’t plan to build these things as landscapes.

J: Mostly my own sculpture starts out of my sketch book, though sometimes I use a computer, what about yourself? B: Yes. When I was a kid, long before I got into sculpture, I was pretty comfortable with drawing anything. Didn’t matter if it was realistic or a scribble. Abstract is a funny word, it all seems to be based on something. Drawing is a cheap tool to get a lot of ideas out with minimal commitment. Once you use material you are more committed. You are making judgments on time and money, what it’s going to cost, when really those are things I don’t want to start thinking about. There was a series I did quite a few years ago when my Calgary studio was finished. I spent quite a bit of time looking at my sketches and staring at the walls trying to figure out what to do, what pieces to make. I came across paint stains on the concrete floor, photographed them and ended up using them as a theme to build from. I did a series called “Three Red Stains” that was sort of based on that.

Three Red Stains


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