September 12, 2017 1 Comment
If you have seen the Mona Lisa up close, you know that it is a tiny painting. Many people are surprised by this fact, as its reputation builds it up to be rather ‘larger than life’. Art comes in many different sizes, and typically each piece has a story to tell.
Simon Wroot tells stories about our landscape in a rather unconventional way. Through the use of different types of metals, he layers elements to create tiny scenes that draw you in.
“I make jewelry for the wall - miniature metal landscapes,” described Simon.
“They are made of layers of different metals.
“I love the way bronze and copper and silver and nickel look together.
“They are fabulous colours so I use the very limited of palette of three colours - yellow pink and silver to build up landscapes.”
If you look closely at some of his pieces, you will see pops of colour where he has added a coloured glass enamel to make certain aspects pop.
Each piece is intricate, and detailed.
Originally a jewellery maker, Simon fell in love with Alberta landscapes and eventually the churches that dot them.
“I started out by doing an exhibition of little Alberta country churches because they are vanishing, they are disintegrating, being torn down and being sold.
“The little churches all have an energy of their own, they have a feeling to them and they are special to the people who built them.
“I wanted to tell their story. I chose 15 out of the 120 I photographed and that started me telling stories with these pieces.
“I realized by doing these pieces I could tell a little story about these places - of the fabulous skies, the wind and the trees. It is just telling stories.”
He has since gone on to represent many different landscapes, and scenes fairly indicative to our local area.
While landscapes themselves are not unique to the art world, the size and materials in which he presents them in very much are.
“I think each piece tells a story in which metal I use in each part of the scene and what I do with that metal.
“If I leave it raw it is clean, it's pristine, but I can use different chemical patinas which will darken it and age it, that can give it another overtone.
“I can use heat to colour it, I can turn red copper into reds and blues and vibrant oranges and that will give another feel to the piece.
“So it is more a matter through telling a story through how the piece feels.
“The feeling that the people get when they are looking at it- whether it is a summer piece, a fall piece, a fading into history piece, or lively and bright and modern.
These tiny scenes stay tiny for a purpose. Simon works to create detail and highlight certain areas of his pieces so that the viewer is encouraged to look closer, and see that there is more than just a first glance.
“I have watched a lot of people over the years look at them. I have noticed a lot of people don't really see what they are and they walk on by.
“Once it catches their eye, they have to interact with it. The closer they get the more they can see it's there.
“I love that people move in until the piece fills their vision. Everything else surrounding vanishes.
“These get you move in until it is just the piece of the frame, they get people reacting to them.
“Being miniature is magic.”
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Bluerock Gallery Inc. acknowledges the land in which it is is situated on as the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, the Métis Nation (Region 3), and all people who make their homes in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta.