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Simon Wroot

Metal Artist



When I was growing up in Britain visible history spanned so much time that ‘history’ seemed so far away; the stone-age burial mounds on the hill, the roman invasion, even having to memorize a thousand years of kings.  In Alberta it’s very different. Yes, there are archaeological records of 12,000 years of occupation, but the actual recorded history is only 250 years old, and the oldest building still standing and used today was built in 1861, almost within reach.

The stories of our old buildings are still visible, still recountable, and I feel a real desire to re-tell them, to keep them alive in some way.  I love to visit and explore the cabins, churches, and other places that were erected with love, with need, with local sweat and labour because of their need for shelter, for a spiritual home, for community.  This was a new land that had no history, no ancestors, and no traditions.  Creating a new home was a basic need, and the settlers poured their hearts and souls into making this place theirs.

The churches especially, but also cabins, homes and so on all have personalities, they have a feeling about them that speaks of their story.  Whether it’s their decay, their strength, their surroundings or even the intent of their original use, I love to visit, to experience them, to get a feeling or an inkling of their history.

Not all places speak, but those that do waken a need to tell part of this story in my work.  Re-creating not only the shape of the place, but the feeling of it is my creative challenge.  While making my pieces I constantly refer back to the photographs, reminding me of what I saw and felt while I was there, and keeping that feeling alive as I trace, cut, texture and  assemble .  I have a very limited palette of colour, pink copper, golden bronze,  and silvery silver or german silver.  I can also use a patina to duplicate the aged colour of these metals which gives me a little shadow or richness.  I have also started to use a little paint or glass enamel to bring a dimension of depth or focus to select pieces.

My intent is to re-create a little of the feeling that I had in that place, to create a connection with the builder of the structure, with the story of the place, with our very young history and those who created it.