Delicacy of Steel

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

Thought the two artists have drastically different styles they both agree that steel is an underappreciated artistic material.

Thought the two artists have drastically different styles they both agree that steel is an underappreciated artistic material. (Bev Petow/Jennifer Chen)

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.

Petow working

Bev Petow works on the upper bodice of one of her many steel dresses currently on display on Salt Spring Island.

Alien and bizarre

Robb is known for sculpture work creating fantastical creatures that would feel at home on the set of films like The Dark Crystal.

“His work depicts a world that is not one I’ve ever seen,” Duthie told North by Northwests 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.

North by Northwest
‘It’s weird and alien and bizarre:’ exhibit showcases steel sculpture

00:07 11:45

With files from CBC Radio One’s North by Northwest

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/it-s-weird-and-alien-and-bizarre-exhibit-showcases-steel-sculpture-1.4218303

 

 

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