Mark Birksted, ‘Hope Silver’, 2017, Oeno Gallery

A ribbon of glossy silver coated steel stretches and uncoils upward from a flat square steel base in this 27.5 inch high table top sculpture. The seeming effortlessness of this smooth uncoiling is belied by the physical process of making this sculpture. The artist hand bent the long metal strip at room temperature using an anvil before painting it in monochrome. The title of the work, 'Hope' may be reflected in the implied energy in this dynamic piece. Formally trained as a graphic designer and with years of experience, Birksted chose a new creative direction after being introduced to Shayne Dark, one of Canada's most established sculptors. Dark's work evokes the contrasts between urban settings and the natural world, using industrial and organic materials. "My hand-bent metal sculptures are a direct response to my frustration of using a computer as a creative tool. I bend the metal at room temperature, using an anvil. The response from this industrial material is immediate. No bend can be undone; there is no ‘undo’ key." ~ Mark Birksted