Artist Talk at McClelland Gallery
Sculpture Exhibition: Last Resort
Alex grew up with parents who, even though in the technical profession encouraged him in his interests in books, art, science fiction and philosophy. At the early age of eight he picked up his first sculpture materials. He went on to study art at college and studied photography as well as his main interest which was history, as he was unclear about what he wanted to do as a career.
From an early age he learnt about giving back to society. Although not religious, that ethic of helping and paying forward to society has become a big part of his beliefs.
Alex’s work in more recent years has reflected his desire to reflect his beliefs about how we as humans should be treating one another, the indifference to suffering and how the wide gap between the haves and have nots in the world continues to exist.
His work in marble, in contrast to work in the past which celebrated empire, triumph and heroes of myth and history more recently is crafted to look like materials which they could not possibly be. Trees and infallible rafts which are made to look light and full of air are in fact made from marble. This is made to prompt our thinking about the illusions around us and in our thinking.
What are we taking for granted, what should we be grateful for in our country? What should we be willing to do to make it better? The disconnect between material and perception is an attempt to tell us, the viewers, stories and ask us questions about what we see and what we believe is true.
Alex’s thoughtful and obviously well educated thought processes behind his work make him a compelling speaker as well as accomplished artist. His processes for creating his works include two assistants who are experienced in the cutting and forming of marble. The symposiums he attended in Europe and Asia have given him skills and education in the history of working with stone and bringing out the best in which ever type he selects. He uses both power tools and hand tools to refine each work from the raw material to the level of finish he desires which can be a high polish in the case of the palm trees we were looking at, or a more immediate and hand sculpted look with that of the rafts. My personal favourites were the rafts as I like to see the “hand” of the artist still in a work to some degree.
Alex took time to answer questions in depth and was very thoughtful in his responses. I found him to be very engaging and enjoyed his talk.
Although a small exhibition, if you are in the area of the McClelland Gallery, especially for the current Survey Exhibition, I recommend calling in to the gallery building to see Alex’s work.