Archive for month: June, 2015

Thank you Toronto

Thank you Toronto !

Fin d’été torontoise pour le sculpteur Blake Ward

Par Laura Mendez – Semaine du 25 août au 31 août 2015

Le sculpteur Blake Ward, né à Yellowknife mais aujourd’hui établi à Monaco, présentera ses dernières créations du 27 août au 19 septembre à la galerie Articsók (1697 avenue St. Clair ouest), en même temps qu’il fournit une oeuvre à la 87e exposition annuelle de la Société canadienne des sculpteurs à la galerie John B. Aird (900 rue Bay) du 27 août au 25 septembre.

Son art est «une continuation de l’exploration du corps et de l’âme», définit l’artiste en entrevue à L’Express.

Âgé de 59 ans, l’artiste raconte qu’il crée de l’art depuis son enfance: «J’ai toujours su que j’étais un artiste.» Sa mère l’emmenait déjà dans tous les musées, dit-il. Encouragé par ses parents et son entourage, il s’est lancé dans des études de sculpture à l’Université d’Alberta.

Blake Ward a toutefois rapidement réalisé qu’il devait voyager pour approfondir et apprendre la sculpture figurative. «C’est à Paris qu’un maître sculpteur m’a enseigné la sculpture figurative classique», précise-t-il.

Depuis trois ans, Blake travaille en duo avec sa compagne Boki Hackel. «Ça s’est fait très naturellement. D’abord, elle faisait les dorures et m’aidait avec sa spécialité, qui est la conceptualisation. Puis un jour, j’ai dû m’absenter. À mon retour, elle avait créé quatre nouvelles sculptures!»

«Depuis, on crée ensemble sans même se parler parce qu’on voit les mêmes choses. Notre histoire d’artistes est très liée à notre histoire d’amour. C’est à quatre mains qu’on façonne le bronze, on est vraiment fusionnels…», témoigne Blake Ward.

Comment sculpter le bronze?

«On travaille à la cire perdue, comme les anciens Grecs», explique-t-il.

«On crée la pièce en cire. On l’enrobe d’une nouvelle structure de cire afin de lui donner une certaine stabilité et permettre au bronze de couler sur toutes les zones. C’est dans un moule fait de plusieurs fines couches de céramique que coule le bronze. La cire disparaît alors par une ouverture ne laissant plus que la sculpture en bronze.»

La construction de chaque pièce est donc unique.

«Une fois la pièce refroidie, on commence le travail du ciselage. Le bronze se révèle beaucoup plus souple qu’on l’imagine. On coupe, on rajoute, on fait des modifications techniques, conceptuelles ou esthétiques, car la pièce change quand elle passé de la cire au bronze. Et enfin, votre pièce est enfin créée.»

Blake Ward conçoit des oeuvres souvent déconstruites, incomplètes, aux allures tragiques. Mais pour lui, ces pièces sont comme un «dialogue avec l’absolu».

«C’est un jeu du vide et du plein, de l’esprit et de la matière, de l’intérieur et de l’extérieur, la vie et la mort, l’imperfection et la perfection…»

Mines anti-personnels

Blake Ward est personnellement engagé contre les mines anti-personnels, notamment auprès de l’association caritative Cambodian Self-Help Demining, à qui il donne une partie de la vente de ses oeuvres.

Certaines des sculptures exposées à la galerie Articsók se veulent d’ailleurs un hommage aux survivants de mines anti-personnels et aux gens qui travaillent pour enlever ces engins non explosés.

Professeur de sculpture à l’Université de Hanoi pendant quelque temps, c’est là qu’il a rencontré Aki Ra, le fondateur de Cambodian Self-Help Demining, qui lui a montré les horreurs de la guerre. «Je ne pouvais pas ne rien faire», dit-il.

Par Laura Mendez – Semaine du 25 août au 31 août 2015

Article dans L’Express

Freedom of Thought

As a result of the changing technology that has taken over our lives we are now connected and affected by events in many different parts of the world on a daily basis.

This type of information will change how secure we feel in our own environment.

Of course we are aware that the world has never been a safe place.

Today we may feel that we are so much more civilized and therefore we are at less risk than at other times throughout history, but I am not sure that this is the case.

I think that it is safe to say that we are at less risk from physical harm than at other times in history.

Undoubtedly we know far greater freedom of thought, expression and speech, at least in a large part of the world we are safe from persecution.

The freedom that has lead to our leap in technological advancement is the freedom that is cherished by our institutions of learning, our schools and universities.

For in these scholarly offices it is expected that every notion of truth, be it scientific, sacred, secular or even foul can be overturned, examined and debated freely.

It is here that disturbing ideas of any sort may be introduced without risk to the physical safety of the speaker, and seriously considered with the only exceptions being ideas that promote violence, and hatred.

Even the politically incorrect must be sheltered from physical harm and rebutted with correct and true ideas rather than subjected to censorship of any form.

Our centers of learning should be a place for ideas, principals and ethics that can stand and be discussed based on their merits.

These institutions must protect the freedom to speak ideas and the freedom of dissent and although we should be tolerant of an individual’s ideological doctrine, these beliefs can be heard in other institutions of that individual’s choice.

For freedom of religion is also freedom from religion.

We must protect the freedom to speak our ideas and to choose our beliefs, without fear or reprisals, for this remains the basis of a free and progressive society.

By Blake and Boky

Photo: The Unnamed Prophet No.1

Depth of Perception

Sculptor Blake Ward’s work will challenge the ‘Depth of Perception’ at Toronto exhibit

Second solo exhibition in Toronto takes place Aug. 27 to Sept. 19 at Articsok Gallery Bloor Weat Villager By Lisa Rainford

Sculptor Blake Ward is pursuing the career he set out to do when he was a child.

Asked if he ever imagined his life would turn out this way? “Every day. It’s what I always wanted,” Ward replied.

He credits his mother who he said was instrumental in exposing him to art and instilling in him this passion of creation.

“I knew then that there was only one path for me,” Ward told The Villager via email from the Arctic.

Graduating with a sculpture degree from the University of Alberta, the Yellowknife-born, Edmonton-raised Ward moved to Paris where he studied figurative sculpture.

“I was lucky and was able to study under an excellent teacher for four years and that was the beginning of what I can only qualify today as both a blessing and an obsession,” he said.

Ward will be presenting his second solo exhibition in Toronto at Articsok Gallery, 1697 St. Clair Ave. W. from Aug. 27 until Sept. 19.

The exhibit will coincide with Ward’s participation in the Sculpture Society of Canada’s 87th annual exhibition, also opening Aug. 27.

When he began creating the pieces for the exhibit at Articsok, titled ‘ Depth of Perception ’, Ward said he wanted to take bronze figurative sculpture and “make it everything it has never been.”

“As a result, I opened them up, layered the surface and created an undeniably individual inner structure for them,” he said.

“The title of this exhibition reflects the work on a conceptual level. The ‘Spirit’ collection is all about inner beauty, self-awareness and mindfulness. It relates directly to how we perceive our world. The deeper we look, the more we see.”

“Truth comes with cognition, which can only bring us freedom,” Ward said.

He’s inspired by people and when he’s struck with an idea, he just runs with it.

“The work is in a continuous state of change all the way to the foundry and even beyond,” he said.

Sculptures are built in wax.

As they are built, parts are shed and rebuilt.

“We never really know what it will look like until it is in the bronze,” Ward said.

Ward, an artist and businessman, has galleries around the world, including Chicago, Montreal, Vancouver and Bergamo, Italy, with plans to expand this year.

“As with any anthological collection of work, the work encompasses different periods of my artistic development so there are several periods to chose from,” Ward said.

“There are amazing collectors all over the world and which pieces we send to which country really depends on our gallerists and the collectors whose collections they are helping build.”

Ward says he is “incredibly excited” to be a part of the Toronto art scene.

Bloor Weat Villager By Lisa Rainford

 

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