Art lovers will have a chance to experience the process behind the work of an internationally acclaimed artist.
The Shadbolt Centre for the Arts is hosting a workshop and lecture with American figurative sculptor Beth Cavener Stichter in late September.
Stichter will offer insight into her unique approaches to sculpting the animal form in clay.
Stichter uses animals to articulate the human condition in a way that's described as "powerful, visceral, evocative and disturbing."
"In order to try to coax people into empathizing with the work, I switched to using the animal form to express the human condition," Stichter said in a press release. "These figures are human bodies that have been subtly morphed into other creatures. ... There is an assumed moral and emotional innocence that we associate with the animal image which allows me to delve into territory which we normally find too uncomfortable to dwell on."
Stichter's demonstration will take place over three days, from Sept. 27 to 29, in the Shadbolt's Studio Theatre.
Working with a huge mass of clay - weighing 500 pounds or more - Stichter uses her whole body to move it around. She strikes it with chunks of wood and digs into the surface with the palms of her hand and nails.
The second stage of her process is what she refers to as "preserving": hollowing the sculpture piece by piece, turning the mass into an empty shell.
"I gain a secret satisfaction from all this weight loss," she said. "I like to hum into these dark closed interiors, listening to and feeling the deep vibration of my voice distorted in answer. I think about closing myself in, slipping them on like skins. I imagine being enfolded within a wild hare, ears laid back, body tensed, ... waiting."
The three-day workshop runs Friday, Sept. 27 from noon to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It costs $145.
Stichter will also give a free public lecture about her work on Friday, Sept. 27 from 6 to 8 p.m.
It's all part of the Culture Days celebration at the Shadbolt.
To register for Stichter's workshop or free lecture, visit www.shadboltcentre.com or phone 604-291-6864.
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