LES DUNLOP ~ Sculptor
I have recently moved to the Okanagan
after spending most of my life in Kitimat, at the head of the Douglas
Channel on B.C.'s north coast.
This region is known for its natural
beauty and abundant wildlife - including wolves, whales and grizzly bears,
all of which are frequent subjects of my work.
fascinate me. As an avid mountain biker, I've been fortunate to observe many
of them in the wild. My work is inspired by these encounters. I sculpt bears
because I am intrigued by their beauty, displays of emotion and obvious
Stone is my chosen medium. From my first sculpting
experience with stone in 2001, I was hooked. My connection with it was as
natural and deep as it was immediate. I've worked in soapstone, wonder
stone, jade, alabaster and slate. I enjoy all of these materials, but my
favourite is soapstone. It polishes to a smooth finish and yields relatively
easily to my tools - offering a creative freedom I've never experienced with
any other medium.
My sculpting process is extreemly intuitive. Typically,
I don't make a single cut into a peice of stone before understanding what
that piece is going to be. Sometimes, that insight is immediate, while at
other times, it takes weeks to emerge. When I do set to work, a creature's
rough outlines and expression can emerge within hours.
As I sculpt, I
incorporate the unique faults, textures and hues of each piece of stone. A
single work can take anywhere from one day to three months to complete. A
good part of this time involves finishing and polishing. I regard a piece as
successful when it conveys an animal's unique personality and invites
observers to reach out and touch it. My works express my personal style
and artistic preferences. It's that much more fulfilling when other
appreciate and choose to display my sculptures.