Doug Alcock pulls a rod from the fire stoked forge as the sound of metal-upon-metal drifts over grassland and forest.
It’s as if time has stood still as the blacksmith artist plies his trade, pounding and twisting the molten metal into wondrous shapes.
His latest inspiration comes from the garden that grows alongside his studio/home deep in the Commonage beside Predator Ridge.
Alcock’s new body of work began with thoughts of food security, said Julie Oakes, who is hosting the new joint exhibition, Hammer and Spoon, at Vernon’s Headbones Gallery.
The exhibition not only features Alcock’s metal work but an installation by Toronto-based print artist Ortansa Moraru.
The show is now open for viewing until April 21.
Using a bobcat to shape the pieces, Alcock has created two eight-foot sculptures, entitled Femform and Foldform, made from recycled steel to illustrate his conscientious concern for the use of resources.
“Alcock has invested time into developing an organic garden and during this pursuit the controversy around seed saving arose,” said Oakes. “Seemingly made of a leather-like malleable substance, Femform gracefully cups cut steel floral shapes, while Foldform is a massive crumpled shape enveloping itself.”
Alcock has also extended his work to the use of light. He has designed several iron sconces and lamps and has incorporated glass in collaborative pieces made in the studio of Okanagan glass artist David Montpetit.
Alcock’s rigour of steel will compliment the ethereal lightness of Japanese paper at the Headbones show.
With her roots in Romania, Moraru is currently completing a doctorate from Western University of Timisoara, Romania, and brings the charm and courage of her birthplace to her imagery, said Oakes.
Her latest large-scale installation piece, Down on the Danube, is approximately six-by-18 feet, and was accomplished by rubbing a spoon to press the image into the Japanese paper.
“She uses silvers, coppers and lusters in her inks so that the surface shimmers,” said Oakes.
While in Vernon, Moraru will also hold a dry point printmaking workshop at the Vernon Community Arts Centre, Thursday. The first session will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with the second session from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Contact the VCAC at 250-542-6243 for details.
Coinciding with the 2012 Okanagan Print Triennial, which is taking place this month and next at the Kelowna Art Gallery, Headbones is also showing some silk screen works by OPT co-founder and UBC Okanagan creative studies professor Briar Craig.
Craig’s Through the Screen, to be shown in The Drawers Gallery, is a series of silk screen prints, vivid in hue and rich in innuendo, said Oakes.
“Finding images from old National Geographic magazines, memos, notes, street flotsam and media detritus, Craig layers the colouring so that the end result is as subtly exquisite as a medieval tapestry,” said Oakes. “With a knack for discovering new meanings and associations to words and phrases, Craig’s work provides opportunity for mind games that challenge preconceived concepts and perceptions.”
All three artists will be in attendance for the opening reception of Hammer and Spoon and Through the Screen on Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. Headbones is located at 6700 Old Kamloops Rd. (limited parking.) Contact the gallery at 250-542-8987 for more information.