Percy the Lonely Inukshuk

CClay (2012)

This relief sculpture was my second project for last winter’s sculpture class. My favourite part of the process was repeatedly slamming the clay onto the workbench to evict any air pockets that would expand in the kiln and cause mini explosions. I rolled out the resulting compact slab into an organic shape, and begun carving away at the horizon and the distinct cracks and fissures of each rock.

An inukshuk takes form as the sky recedes.

Above the Arctic Circle is a magical place. The sky seems to open up over the tundra and it feels as if you are literally on the top of the world.

My family and I ventured up to the Arctic one summer, living out of a motorhome and stopping to swim in every lake we came to. Many of these beautifully inviting lakes were in fact stocked with icy cold water that had been frozen in glaciers mere hours before swallowing our cannonballs; needless to say we spent much of our lake time shivering and skipping stones on shore. The trip created many special memories that are now securely lodged in my brain, highlighted by lots of family pursuits (such as building our own inukshuks), and a real, live wolf sighting!

My younger sister (top) and I building inukshuks

I love the contrast between the edgy, sharp rocks and the smooth, flowing sky – the sturdy earthbound structure under the expansive, ever transforming heavens.

I am considering glazing this piece…so perhaps it is a work in progress?


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