Excellent interview with Bev Petow and Michael Robb on CBC radio North by Northwest with Jennifer Chen.
‘It’s weird and alien and bizarre:’ exhibit showcases steel sculpture
Fantastical and adorable creatures featured alongside intricate metal haute couture
CBC News Posted: Jul 23, 2017 3:59 PM PT Last Updated: Jul 23, 2017 3:59 PM PT
The jaw-dropping work of Bev Petow and Michael Robb is on display at Salt Spring Island’s Duthie Gallery and includes flowing steel dresses and quirky imaginative creatures.
“It’s true, I watched people come in for the opening and I watched the jaws drop. It’s a very powerful show,” said gallery owner Celia Duthie.
Alien and bizarre
“His work depicts a world that is not one I’ve ever seen,” Duthie told North by Northwest‘s Jennifer Chen, during a visit to the gallery.
“It’s weird and alien and bizarre, but they’re friendly creatures.”
Many of the creatures have a marine critter-like feel to them which Robb said likely came from a harder period in his life.
“When I first got to B.C. I was very poor so I tried to hit the beach at low tide to find food to eat,” he said. “So I’ve been influenced by creatures that live particularly in the intertidal.”
Petow’s metal dresses were also inspired by a time of hardship. In 2009, Petow’s close friend died.
The two had spent many hours together sewing their own clothes before Petow moved into metal work.
“I went out to my studio to make something in mourning for her, basically, and that’s what came out,” the Sooke-based artist said.
Much of her work is inspired by political issues or historical moments, including one intricate dress that celebrates the era of the French Revolution.
Petow said the revolt signified one of the first times Europeans stood up against the aristocracy.
“I think we’re living in a time where that could happen again,” she said.
Delicacy of Steel is on display at the Duthie Gallery on Salt Spring Island until August 15th.
With files from CBC Radio One’s North by Northwest