Lesha Koop

Vancouver, BC

Lesha Koop

Featured Sculpture

Lesha Koop –Comet (mild steel)

Youthful and talented, Vancouver’s Lesha Koop displays her artistic creativity with her inaugural Sculpturewalk entry titled Comet.

A native of British Columbia, Koop grew up exploring the forests around her, along with many parts of the province, and draws much of her inspiration from its natural forms. She is a trained steel fabricator and welder who has taken courses in blacksmithing, metal casting, photography, print making and textile weaving. From a very early age, art and the creative process was part of her daily life.

"From the time I could hold a crayon I've been making art," she says with a laugh. "To be able to create what I envision is truly a gift, one that only improves with years of practice. I've had such a privilege to be able to observe Nature's beauty, which can be so delicate at times, yet also fierce and dangerous. This has fostered my own sensitivities and attention to detail, and been a huge inspiration for my art in all sorts of mediums."

Her works are imaginative, stylish and intriguing. Metal is a favourite material and Comet displays her talent and inventiveness very well.

The piece jumps out at the viewer, opening the mind to the many possibilities of portrayal. Using a geometric centre, sharp bronze black-tipped spikes of steel in varying lengths protrude. There is abstraction at play here, but Comet is also comfortingly familiar as an object. The possibilities are numerous, and left to the imagination and perception of the viewer.

Is it a comet? Or is it a mace head – a weapon from medieval times? It could be a puffer fish, a seed head, an asteroid or a distant star, even a microscopic creature. Regardless of interpretation, it is wonderfully constructed with care and detailed attention.

Koop studied welding and metal fabrication at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in 2003. She further honed her love of metal sculpture by attending the metal classes at Kootenay School of the Arts (KSA) in Nelson in 2007. As part of the Introduction to Welding at KSA, students had to fabricate a rectangular box. Koop took it further, flaring the corners into stylized points.

Later, her adaptation spurred a series of visually striking, complex dodeca- and icosahedrons; geometric forms, not unlike Comet in the case of the latter, that demand balance and uniform composition.

Shape and form is important to me, she notes. The beginnings of those series led naturally to more complex forms. I just followed my instincts and the polyhedron series slowly came into being. It is demanding and time-consuming but I’m pleased with the end result.

Koop works as a mount maker for a museum but her creativity, imagination and obvious talent is resulting in public commissions and more frequent exhibitions. An example is the colourful angular collection of origami birds that perch in and around a public housing project in Richmond. Designed by Erick James, a fellow student of Koop's at KSA, she was contracted to weld the songbirds, crows, herons and cranes. Their bright vibrant powder finishes bring life and beauty to the development.

Combined with her ever-expanding metal skills, Koop’s imagination boundless. She is establishing herself artistically as a talent in Vancouver - it is a pleasure to enjoy her creativity at Sculpturewalk this year.

www.leshakoop.tumblr.com

Artist's Sculptures