Sculptors take over the Bliss
Opening this evening at the Bliss is a one of a kind exhibition by a group of local sculptors including master sculptor, George Gabb. The pieces on exhibition are a labor of love and collectively represent thirty years of work. The versatility of their talent is captured on materials that range from wood to glass. The exhibition kicks off a symposium that will be taking place at the Center for Employment Training. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.
Andrea Polanco, Reporting
With twenty sculptures, made from materials including wood, metal, stone and glass, the exhibition, ‘Creation: Belize @ 30…Sculpting the Vision’ seeks to showcase the works done over the past three decades by Belizean Sculptors.
Kim Vasquez, Program Officer, ICA
“We have of course, the master himself, George Gabb, we are proud to have some of his pieces here. He worked at first, many people will know he worked in wood, and after his health declined, he turned to scrap metal. So we have some of his pieces here, we also have promising sculptors like Javier Mendez, he is from Lucky Strike and he has a couple pieces here. We are also pleased to have Paul Stephenson from San Ignacio and he works in glass. So what we are really trying to is to show the different types of material you can work in.”
With thirty five years experience, Curl Gordon’s pieces are artistic works of art. On display, is his masterpiece from driftwood, “The Agony of Slavery”, which is still in the sculpting process with about five or six months to completion:
Curl Gordon, Sculptor
“It was a Saturday morning I went to the sea shore and I took all my tools, chainsaw, hatchet and machete and suh yuh know and I also took my food. I also spent the day yuh know combing the beach inorder to find that piece of wood. I found that piece of wood like an hour and a half after I went out there and I thank God and I said my prayers and I asked him to help me to do what I see in the wood. And ever since I started carving that particular piece of wood, yes it did spoke to me but through the voice of God. One of the reason why I did it the way I did it, especially since the stomach of the woman is open up or empty, because back in those days food wasn’t a commodity for them yuh know and they were always being abused, the way the hands were tied and the feet were chained up the way I did it from the wood yuh know. It really shows the agony that they went through over the years that have passed.”
The exhibition will kick off the Belize Sculpture Symposium which aims to bring sculptors together to foster a sustainable Belizean sculptural identity:
“The 2011 Sculpture Symposium is the first of its kind for Belize. We have eight international sculptors here and they will be working at the old CET compound. They are partnered with young apprentices, people who are interested in developing the art form. They are working on larger pieces, public art, and that is what we are trying to do, yes you can be both artist and artisan. You can make the smaller pieces because everybody has to survive. You can make the bowls and the things the tourists like to purchase, the souvenirs. But you can also find that there are outlets to create larger artistic pieces.”
Anthony Vacario of Maskall Village is one of the participating sculptors. Vacario is an artist and artisan, who makes a living from his work:
Anthony Vacario, Sculptor
“Well I first vision it before I get to work and when I see it all right I get to work physically on it like making ‘Wonder’ which represents an African abstract woman.”
“Mr. Vacario, what’s your inspiration?”
“As a sculptor, love doing a lot of nice pieces like especially wood carvings, stones and I work for what the money is.”
Jules Vasquez, 7News
“Why do you still go ahead with these difficult pieces if you know that they don’t sell as well or people might not understand it?”
“Well, emm I take it for a bank piece yuh know. The small piece I sell it to keep up my skill otherwise I wouldn’t be able to make these big pieces. So these big pieces are just a bank for me. I know they don’t sell easy but I got a lot of people who brochure them for me, I sell a lot of big pieces. I sell to twenty one gift shop around this country.”
Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.