Rob MacCormack gives old pieces of wood new life.
The Bible Hill artist uses materials from old buildings to create furniture and art, and is one of those whose work will be on display in ‘A Show of Respect’ at the Marigold Cultural Centre this month.
“I enjoy making art with a story and being able to use things that are oftentimes thrown out,” he said. “It’s a challenge to see what you can make when you take old things apart.”
MacCormack, who also paints with acrylics, began working with reclaimed wood in 2015 and is self-taught.
“Wood is definitely my preference now,” he said. “Materials are sometimes hard to find. I got some from Bible Hill Central School and some from houses in Tatamagouche, Valley and Brookfield. I’m always keen to find lumber is different places.
“The shape it’s in depends on how long it’s been left alone. The elements cause a lot of damage.”
Sometimes he’s heading out to find material to create a specific item, but sometimes he just sees a piece of material he knows he has to help become something new.
“It’s definitely relaxing,” he said. “You can kind of zone out while you create something. It’s a good mental break.”
Barb Schmeisser, whose work is also included in the show, wasn’t planning to work with metal when she decided to do something creative, but now she makes some amazing items from steel.
“This started by accident,” she said. “I had retired from Parks Canada, as an historian, in 2000 and I wanted something to do with my hands. I applied to NSCAD (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design) thinking I would do textiles. I took introduction to wood and metal and discovered metal is much more forgiving than wood. I fell in love with the medium.”
She graduated in 2005 and had a shop built with a propane forge, MIG welder, plasma cutter and grinders.
She often creates steel sculptures of Nova Scotia plants, many of which are facing danger due to human actions, but she’s also chosen some unusual subjects.
“I made giant pair handcuffs you can walk through and called it ‘Law and Order,’” she said. “It’s on my lawn in Dartmouth now. I like playing with scale.”
She’s also created a cannon enclosed by an olive tree, which she calls ‘War and Peace’ and she’s made chairs of steel that looks like twigs.
“This show has a lot of variety in art and includes some very established and some emerging artists,” said show organizer Brandt Eisner. “It’s about this land, this place, this environment, this moment.”
The opening reception for the show is July 4 from 6-8 p.m. at the Marigold Cultural Centre and the pieces will remain on display throughout July.
Artists in the show:
Don Pentz - Painter
Shauna Macleod - Clay Artist
Mark Hamilton - Painter
Rob MacCormack - Re-purposed Wood
Geoffrey Grantham - Plein Air Painter
Barbara Schmeisser - Metal
Emilee Boutilier - Textiles Artist
Peter Kinsella - Wood Turner
Pallavi Rane - Textile Artist
Ted Coldwell - Photographer
Andrew Quon - Clay Artist/Mixed Media
Brandt Eisner - Mixed Media