Issue #12 | Spring/Summer 2009

Touching – a multi dimensional sensation

The essence of three-dimensional art is that it invites us to touch or to imagine what it would feel like to touch the object. We touch it with our eyes in a more complete way than we would a picture. We see the curve of a wing made of carved and polished stone and our finger wants to run along its satiny surface.

Even if we’re looking at a two dimensional representation of a statue or a pot, it is measured and weighed by our previous experience and our curiousity.

Paul Qayutinnuaq’s meticulously crafted Inuit hunting tools represent things that were once everyday and functional. Through his dedication to making the ancient tools from their original materials, we are able to see the textures and imagine what it felt like to work with a bone knife or a fishhook carved from an antler.

There can be immense pleasure in making something that we know other people will want to pick up and use. Something thats very form gives them pleasure and thats function satisfies a need. A beautifully treened cup or pottery bowl can be a pleasure to look at, a pleasure to hold and a pleasure to use. What could be more pleasing to a sculptor than to create something like this?

The humble materials, stone, wood and clay speak to us of our human roots. In the right hands those same simple elements can evoke a prairie storm or imbue an angel with the magic of art. Imagine yourself eye to eye with a life-sized vessel full of Bibi Clement’s moods and memories. Then remember, she made it from mud.

The sculptor invites us to experience the sculpture: Do we want to touch it? Do we want to pick it up and use it? Or do we want to give it a hug?

Eileen Coristine, Editor

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