Neil Clifford, ‘The Texture of  Water’, 2015, Oeno Gallery
Neil Clifford, ‘The Texture of  Water’, 2015, Oeno Gallery
Neil Clifford, ‘The Texture of  Water’, 2015, Oeno Gallery
Neil Clifford, ‘The Texture of  Water’, 2015, Oeno Gallery
Neil Clifford, ‘The Texture of  Water’, 2015, Oeno Gallery

This sculpture has incredible presence, the marriage of the rock and the bronze kayak at once solid, and yet floating in space. The kayak stretches over 5 feet in length. The patina is beautifully finished. It captures the spirit of the north and exploration of the Arctic.

"Each kayak I sculpt has a direct relationship to the granite on which it is cradled, and is unique to that stone. Most of this collected granite is weathered and glaciated ancient rock, formed billions of years ago when molten lava spewed from great cracks in the Earth's crust. This formed the bedrock known as the Precambrian Shield.

My kayaks are hand built directly in wax, with a technique that I have developed and refined over time. I work with strips of wax, creating a hull and deck shape in direct proportion to the length and volume of the stone. The profile of the vessel must relate to the lines of the stone, as each stone has its own shape and movement. My kayaks are designed to follow and compliment these established curves and lines.

Just prior to the wax being sent to the foundry for casting, I finish it by creating a textural landscape on the surface of the kayak, which, in many respects, is similar to encaustic painting. I work with brushes, shaping tools and pallet knives and build the surface textures on the wax, which best relate to the features already discovered and identified in the stone. The degree of distress, the depth of the scoring and pitting, the smoothness and roughness, all relate to the stone.

The kayak's curves, edges, textures and patina take their cue from the base upon which it rests. And just as each selected stone is a unique creation, so too, are the kayaks." Neil Clifford