Simon Wroot (Oct 21+22)
Simon Wroot is a British-born metal artist who now lives and works in his studio in Calgary, Alberta. Previously self-trained in photography, woodworking and stained glass, his affinity for metal has surfaced since he moved to Calgary in 1987. Over five years he took courses at the Alberta College of Art and Design, the Lewton-Brain-Fontans Centre for Jewellery studies, and studied under Karen Cantine at Series, Red Deer College. More recently he participated in workshops by Joan Irvin at the Alberta College of Art and Design.
Simon developed a very successful and popular line of jewellery based upon Canada's prehistoric rock art, using an etching technique to reproduce the simple and elegant images. A more complex series involved hand-cutting the intricate knotwork of the ancient Celts and the elegant and sometimes contorted animal (Zoomorphic) designs of the 7th and 8th century manuscripts and Gospels. He was also commissioned to create the presentation Tiara for the Worlds Irish Dance Competitions.
Simon has more recently become well known for his extremely detailed miniature landscapes created by stacking up to 15 layers of bronze, copper, nickel, steel and sterling silver. These are individually crafted, and are primarily hanging artworks, but the smaller pieces are also created as brooches. He has had both a solo exhibition and a joint exhibition of this work, both of these were chosen by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Travelling Exhibition Program, and have travelled to numerous venues around Alberta.
The stories of our old buildings are still visible, still recountable, and I feel a real desire to re-tell them, to keep them alive in some way. I love to visit and explore the cabins, churches, and other places that were erected with love, with need, with local sweat and labour because of their need for shelter, for a spiritual home, for community. This was a new land that had no history, no ancestors, and no traditions. Creating a new home was a basic need, and the settlers poured their hearts and souls into making this place theirs. The churches especially, but also cabins, homes and so on all have personalities, they have a feeling about them that speaks of their story. Whether it’s their decay, their strength, their surroundings or even the intent of their original use, I love to visit, to experience them, to get a feeling or an inkling of their history.
Not all places speak, but those that do waken a need to tell part of this story in my work. Re-creating not only the shape of the place, but the feeling of it is my creative challenge. My intent is to re-create a little of the feeling that I had in that place, to create a connection with the builder, with the story, with our very young history and those who created it.