Winchester welcomes creatures great and small

Sculptor Joe Fafard's exhibit runs through Dec. 23 at Winchester Galleries

Sculptor Joe Fafard shows Creatures Great and Small to Dec. 23 at Winchester Galleries.

Sculptor Joe Fafard shows Creatures Great and Small to Dec. 23 at Winchester Galleries.

A powder coated bronze calf greets guests to Winchester Galleries on Oak Bay Avenue.

Created by well-known Canadian sculptor Joe Fafard, the calf is among his current favourites, if only because it’s one of his most recent.

“It’s one that I had in my mind for a while,” the artist says, leading a walkabout of his show Creatures Great and Small. “But they’re all my children, so it’s hard to pick a favourite.”

In the early 1970s, much of Fafard’s sculpture used clay as a medium. In 1985, he shifted to bronze as his chief sculptural medium, establishing a foundry in Pense. His insight and humour characterize his portraits of neighbours, farm animals, wildlife and famous artists he came to respect as he learned his craft.

Across the aisle at Winchester, a bull crafted originally from clay in the early 1980s claims a place. A teacher retired from a high school where Fafard used the work as a lesson in perspectives and returned the ceramic bull that Fafard cast in bronze.

Also on display, his portrait The Pugilist is among the newer works.

“It’s a tribute to the people who have enough foolishness and courage to stand up and let someone punch them,” he said. “I wanted to get the feeling of the struggle, tiredness, injuries… that it takes.”

Around the corner is the portrait of his father perched on a chair, elbows on knees.

“He was a farmer and died fairly young in 1972. I did this portrait to remember him the way he was,” Fafard said.

A menagerie awaits guests in the room at the bottom of the stairs. A caribou, horses, lamb, wolf and cows, “our fellow earthlings” in a variety of paint, patina and powder coat finishes.

“They have different intelligence than we do but they have intelligence suited to their evolution,” Fafard said.

Tucked atop a window frame, a pair of small laser-cut cows  peer from near the ceiling inside the gallery, while a large horse graces the landscape along Monterey Avenue.

They’re examples of his latest explorations – into laser and plasma cutting.

“I’m curious about what would happen if I try this or try that. That’s what creativity is, curiosity. That’s what leads you to discover and invent is that curiosity,” Fafard said, adding science and technology too fall into that category. “The largest part of creativity is curiosity. When you have nothing to be curious about you’re just treading water.”

Creatures Great and Small, Fafard’s first show at the gallery, runs through Dec. 23 at 2260 Oak Bay Ave. During closed hours say hello to the calf on the patio.

“It’s is a calf,” Fafard said, looking into its bronze face. “But I did it in such way that it’s the way it appeared when I was two years old.”

 

Did you know?

Joe Fafard was born in 1942 to French-Canadian parents in the small agricultural community of Ste. Marthe, Sask. He attended the University of Manitoba (BFA 1966) and Pennsylvania State University (MFA 1968). He was at the University of Saskatchewan, Regina from 1968-1974 and visiting lecturer at the University of California at Davis in 1980-1981.

• Fafard has received awards including: Officer of the Order of Canada, 1981; Architectural Institute of Canada Allied Arts Award, 1987; honorary degree from the University of Regina, 1989, and from the University of Manitoba in 2007; Saskatchewan Order of Merit, 2002; National Prix Montfort, 2003; Lieutenant Governor’s Saskatchewan Centennial Medal for the Arts, 2005; CTV Citizen of the Year, 2006; Saskatchewan Arts Board Lifetime Achievement Award, 2007; and his third honorary doctorate from the University of Saskatchewan, 2012.

• Perhaps the pinnacle of Fafard’s career was the touring retrospective exhibition hosted by six different venues, from September 2007 through September 2009, jointly organized by the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and the Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina. Most recently, Fafard was honoured by Canada Post in their “Art Canada” series of postage stamps, 2012. Three of his artworks are featured on the Canadian, US and international stamps.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An Oak Bay Police officer handed out five tickets for “fail to obey stop sign” and two tickets for using a cell phone while driving, all within two hours at King George Terrace on Jan. 11. (Oak Bay Police Twitter)
Man confronts unmasked group at Oak Bay Marina

Oak Bay police issue plenty of tickets in short King George Terrace visit

Construction in Oak Bay is nearly all focused on rebuilding new single-family homes and without secondary suites. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Oak Bay nears regulation of secondary suites

Preliminary report hints there’s no preferred option

NEW CUTLINE Pacific FC fans fill the stands during a game at the former Westhills Stadium
 Starlight Developments has purchased the naming rights from the City of Langford for the next 10 years.(Gazette file photo)

Pacific FC slid into third place in the league after defeating FC Edmonton 1-0 at Westhills Stadium on Saturday. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Langford sells stadium naming rights for $500,000 to Starlight Developments

10-year sponsorship deal largest in the history of Langford, says mayor

A 45-metre tall call tower is proposed for Westhills Stadium. (Black Press Media file photo)
New cell tower proposed for Westhills Stadium in Langford

Tower will increase capacity in congested network: staff report

Victoria Police Department vehicles outside the headquarters building. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bastion Square attack leaves victim with life-altering injuries

Victoria police looking for witnesses, information

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Gin, one of the Kantymirs’ two sheep. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep start up ATV, sit in cars and go for walks in Salmon Arm

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Heather Lucier, a pastor at Kelowna Harvest Fellowship, speaks to an RCMP officer outside of Harvest Ministries on Sunday, Jan. 10. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna church fined 2nd time for violating public health order

Harvest Ministries in Kelowna has previously said they will fight the tickets in court

Emma Nunn from Alberni Valley Rescue Squad waits at the summit of Mount Arrowsmith for the rest of the AVRS rope rescue team on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY DAVE POULSEN, AVRS)
UPDATE: Injured hiker among three rescued in the dark from Mount Arrowsmith

‘It was a very bad, very precarious spot to be able to locate them’

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons was appointed to the NDP cabinet as minister of social development and poverty reduction after the October 2020 B.C. election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. job training fund increased for developmentally disabled

COVID-19 has affected 1,100 ‘precariously employed’ people

B.C. driver’s licence and identity cards incorporate medical services, but the passport option for land crossings is being phased out. (B.C. government)
B.C. abandons border ID cards built into driver’s licence

$35 option costing ICBC millions as demand dwindles

Most Read