Life on the Edge


Dawn over the B.C.Mainland mountains 'On a wild stretch of beach in some remote location, a lone figure studies the eroded shoreline - dramatically undercut by the relentless power of the ocean. The bedrock is worn smooth except where ragged layers of harder material stand above the surface yet, nearby, a massive boulder sits in a depression created by waves swirling around it. Glancing out to sea, he's elated to see dolphins riding the pressure-wave in front of a surfacing humpback whale; itself perhaps glimpsing a gull's frantic efforts to avoid a fast-approaching eagle.'
 

Yes, this could have been me. But now,instead of having to travel far to such a place, I'm fortunate to now live and work in a similar environment. Only very occasionally are Humpback whales seen though - the pods that used to inhabit these waters were decimated by whalers in the late 19th century with the final hunt in 1907 eliminating them entirely.

Here, on this water-front acreage perched high above the Salish Sea between Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia, I can reflect on the dynamic aspects of our natural world - where forms are determined by the flow of air or water over a surface. Function for them is paramount, but I find they also possess an aesthetic presence - whether a wing of a bird or the flukes of a whale: a rivulet in bedrock or a wind-blown tree - which naturally invite creative exploration which I prefer to express in those most natural of materials - wood, stone, bone, shell, etc.

The qualities of stone enable me to investigate how the erosion of bedrock by wind and wave can release not only embedded fossils/stones/concretians but also fascinating shapes that evolve into elegant sculptures that exhibit aspects of various types of stone to advantage.

Trees, with their monumental scale and supple grace, display an affinity with my long-time interest, the great whales so, appropriately, its in local woods that I attempt to convey their sense of awe-inspiring splendour. Wall-sculptures of whales and dolphins are hollowed-out to reduce weight, decrease dry-time and eliminate checking and stress, finally emerging as gleaming images that really harmonize in their grain and flowing-rhythm. These originals, which I've made full-time for 19 years now, have proven to be problem-free so they can be handed down through generations - after all, they share a lissome strength in their long lives, the wood and the whale.

sunset from our home

 

 

 

 
Thirty two Bald Eagles have been counted at one time during the herring season in early Spring, perched in our 100' Spruce tree in the right-hand side of the photograph.

24 eagles in a spruce tree


Here are 24 eagles in the same tree during a herring run in March (the top of the tree was bending with the weight of the birds)