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.

 

Just Posted

Law Enforcement Torch Run in support of Special Olympics B.C. kicks off with a run at Swan Lake on June 6. The virtual fundraiser runs until June 20. (Saanich Police/Twitter)
Torch run seeks to scorch previous fundraiser, targets $75,000 for Special Olympics

Global movement shoots for 40,000 km in honour of the 40th anniversary

Victoria Truth Centre and Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C.) Society are hoping to replicate in Langford the format used on Emma’s Farm in Mission, pictured here. (Patrick Penner/Black Press Media)
Victoria Truth Centre hopes to grow transformative justice in Langford

Purchase proposal would see offenders, survivors and families work on organic vegetable farm

Tyson Muzzillo, regional manager of BC Cannabis Store, welcomes shoppers to their Uptown location, opening on June 16. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Government-run cannabis store opening at Saanich’s Uptown

BC Cannabis Store the first for government in Greater Victoria, 27th in province

Mural artist Paul Archer will soon begin work on a piece on the rear of a building at 100 Burnside Road West. (Gorge Tillicum Community Association)
Back of Burnside building in Saanich to feature mural of hope and positivity

Artist Paul Archer says subject will inspire memories, depict children’s future, sunshine, flowers

The stretch of trail north of Royal Bay Secondary connecting to Painters Trail at Murray’s Pond will be closed temporarily this week for invasive species removal. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood trail behind Royal Bay Secondary temporarily closed for invasive species removal

Cloure in effect from 9 a.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Friday this week

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-week-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

Most Read