Past Show

Beach Wood: Rescued

Mar 6-17, 2024

OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, March 7, 2024 – 6-8 pm

Join us IN-PERSON at the Leslie Grove Gallery.

See the show, meet the artist, bring a friend!


“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere”, Vincent Van Gogh.

Living in the Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood is a wonder for many reasons but one of the primary considerations is the abundance of nature, especially gorgeous trees. Stately massive oaks, sturdy maples, hazel, numerous hemlock, Dawn Redwood, to name a few. I enjoy working with all types of found wood, but my favourites are the Lilac tree and bush.

Normally, in late Fall and early Spring you are guaranteed that with the strong winds forcefully blowing, huge branches will collapse and be smashed to the ground in complete disarray. Armed with my bow saw I wander amongst these fallen branches to examine, touch and feel them before the City workers come to sweep them up, chain saws blaring to cut, crush and shred them. I always felt relieved that I had “rescued” these branches from the shredder. I thought perhaps new forms could emerge.

I inspected the branches like a surgeon to determine their potential as sculptural pieces of art. Did the branch have a bend, a twist, a sharp 90 degree turn? Would a branch be thick in the lower end, slim in the middle parts, broad in the knotted smaller branches? It would take hours for me to lift the branch, examine it, look for rot, imbedded earth or bug infestation. Most importantly did it speak to me about becoming a beautiful unique sculpture?

In the early 1970’s, my creative spirit needed to diverge from two dimensional painting so I started working with a variety of materials to create large crocheted fibre sculptures and wood sculptures, trying to find the way to express my creativity and my strong interest in the power of design fundamentals. The search has given me the capacity to incorporate the interplay of positive and negative shapes, linear thrusts, and suggestions of the power of nature when contoured to give powerful effects. I wanted to keep the viewer’s brain off balance by providing contradictions of light and heavy, smooth and rough, convex holes disrupted by shadows, concave smooth hip-like anatomy to enhance the abstract lustre of non-objective possibilities of art and matter in nature. What results is the endless radiance of wood grain and matchless colour.

The sculptures are inspired not only by imagination but also by the material’s response to careful manipulation. My goal is to uncover the spiritual aspects that the force of nature imposes upon the wood. I carve Lilac wood, remove the rot and earth only to reveal a hint of the Lilac’s scent and the enriched tone of Lilac’s deep purple colour. This manifestation excites me, as I see the movement revealed by the wood grain and the effect the rot has produced on the wood. I need to understand and learn the potency of the spirit in things, matter, and art. My sculptures attempt to emulate nature’s form and beauty.

Featured Artist:
Andrew Vasilevich.