Wendy L Morrison

Trail, BC

Wendy L Morrison

Featured Sculpture

Wendy L. Morrison - The Re-Thinker (bronze, steel)

A lot of time has gone into the cerebral and evocative piece Wendy Morrison displays in her first foray into Sculpturewalk. She has had several of the components in her possession for years and has been thinking about their utilization for even longer.

"This particular sculpture has been percolating in my head for about eight years now," she says. "I wanted to create something that questioned the industrialization of agriculture as has happened, to suggest that the steady commercialization of farming - mass production and the aggregation of many small farms into a few massive ones - isn't necessarily a good thing."

Morrison has always loved farm life; she and her husband built a small organic farm from the ground up. She believes the notion of "factory farming" needs to be re-evaluated.

"I am pleased to see the current movement back to organic food production and regionally sourced food. Perhaps I am making a statement of sorts, but I also hope people will like my work for its creativity and the aesthetics of it."

The Re-Thinker tips an obvious hat to Auguste Rodin's famous sculpture. It is thoughtful and thought-provoking too, dynamic and beautifully balanced.

Her small figure of a man pondering - hand to chin in rumination and thought - is cast in bronze from a live nude modeling session. In his lap he holds a misshapen, battered earth composed of asymmetrical bronze rounds pieced together almost haphazardly. Both bronze pieces are deliberately roughly hewn and tactile.

The man sits contemplatively perched on the very edge of an old steel tractor seat that is tipped forward deliberately. An old metal bar runs back from the angled seat to a rusted, spoked wagon wheel. Another metal piece supports the three juxtaposed components vertically while providing an element of counterbalance. There is great depth of scale along with harmony and balance in Morrison's enchanting, perceptive piece.

"My husband and I found the wheel exploring a long-abandoned farm in Alberta years ago. It has a square axle, which likely means it is quite old, or at least somewhat primitive," she says with a laugh. "Anyway, the wheel got me thinking about small farms in the past, which in turn made me think of the so-called "progress" of food production - herbicides, pesticides, genetic modification - and how they have affected the earth."

Morrison's artistic bent first came to light after taking a jewelry-making course in Priddis, Alberta. She followed that with jewelry design and metalwork studies at the Alberta College of Art in Calgary, later studying bronze, sculpture and metal techniques at Red Deer College prior to moving to British Columbia.

As she self-deprecatingly explains, she still makes jewelry on a semi-regular basis but "I'm focused on sculpture more now because some of my jewelry pieces were beginning to be like small-scale sculptures themselves. I love earthiness, organic composition, so chunky, palpable jewelry is my style."

Her harmonious, wonderfully composed sculpture The Re-Thinker might have gestated for some time but the end result is worth it. It speaks strongly with simple, clever composition and scale.

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Artist's Sculptures