Darrel’s ferals leads to Cat Tales
The ocean outside her front door and the forests behind are the inspiration for artist Corry Lunn’s ceramic sculptural work. The ever changing mood of the water and life that inhabits the environment along Union Bay are the soul of Lunn’s work. Ravens, otters, eagles and salmon all come alive in vessels, wall pieces and sculptural forms.
She has managed to breathe life into her raku and burnished works through fire and flame. She manages to capture the essence of the subject she is sculpting through respect and admiration of the natural world.
As you walk up to the studio, on the old Island Highway, you are at first struck by the homage to nature that seems to permeate the entire property. Large carved wooden vessels with plants and found objects up-cycled into pieces of art leads one’s eye to rest on a vision of a precious Japanese-style garden.
Lunn is not alone in creating this artistic haven. Lunn’s art and life partner, Darrel Nygaard, is an extraordinary woodworker who has much the same vision as Lunn but translates that in wood rather than clay.
They collaborate seamlessly with each other and it is at times difficult to see where one artist’s hand leaves off and another’s begins.
“We are inspired by nature and our surroundings and natural objects,” says Lunn.
Lunn will go through Nygaard’s sketchbook and use his work to complement her own.
“There’s no ego with the two of us, we treat the work as ongoing until it’s done, “ she said. “We don’t separate our living from our work.”
Lunn works in a series when she gets inspired and this winter her inspiration was the feral cats in her immediate neighbourhood. Lunn has sculpted cats into much of her recent work — a Buddha with a cat entwining itself at his knees, a rotund cat with a mischievous grin and many other “cats” are coming out of the studio.
“I see the playful side of cats, they are unique creatures. I don’t usually do comical things,” Lunn said.
The feral cats, or Darrel’s Ferals, are skittish creatures that shy away from most, except for Nygaard who manages to get closer to them than anyone else. He feeds them and provides some comfort but because of the nature of feral cats he is not able to easily catch them or tame them. The cats serve a purpose, they keep the rodent population down which is especially important in any marine environment.
Lunn and Nygaard are mounting an exhibition of work at the Corre Alice Gallery at 2781 Dunsmuir Avenue in Cumberland from April 5-27. The show is in aid of cats.
At their studio location there are more than a dozen feral cats, so Lunn and Nygaard are taking it upon themselves to get these cats spayed and neutered.
So they decided to help the Kitty Cat Pals Society and the cats as well.
They are joined by artists Nichol Ward and Lynda HIckenbottom-Lord, who each add another dimension to the exhibition.
Ward has some shadow boxes with stories going on in them and Hickenbottom-Lord has paintings and some whimsical multi-media work all in the cat theme.