Hello and welcome to my page, I am a Mixed/Multi Media, Metal/Wood Artist
Laurie Jones-Canta Laurie is an SFU Alumna of the Contemporary Arts Program and member of Miniature Club of BC. Now retired from Dance and Multi-media performing, she is currently working in her home studio with cottonwood bark carving, pyrography, Assemblage Art, mosaics and outdoor Pop-Art painting. Her carving began with Master carvers Al Phillips and Bill Skerrett, with added courses from Derek Darling. Her creations are predominantly Fantasy Houses, Castles, Lighthouses and maritime scenes, heritage buildings, 3-D ornaments and local scenery. Laurie creates using all-weathered cottonwood bark from non-living trees found mostly on the river banks in Northern BC. Everything is hand-carved using homemade tools and Flexcut knives, chisels and gouges. In 2001 she designed the original Crossroads Hospice Dragonfly logo for the Capital Campaign for Inlet Centre. The Dragonflies of Hope project that followed became the inspiration for many artists and their signature has taken on a life of its own since then. She has also constructed large pieces for stagecraft for local high school musicals and community Cabaret productions. Her assembled shadow boxes are made by her husband who also assists in securing the mounting of larger pieces. The boxes are created using hand-sculpted figures and scenes made of paper clay drawn from folklore and literary sources – often inspired by children’s literature which are then wired with battery LED sets to produce whimsical nightlights. Laurie often also integrates wood, clay, silver wire, broken tiles/china, recyclables and ‘found objects’ into unique mixed media pieces. Her 3-D café plaque series sold to coffee shops, bistros and adorn her fans’ kitchens. In June, 2018 Laurie completed a design for ‘Pianos on the Street’ for City of Port Coquitlam which was on display in the summer of that year, available to play at Hyde Creek Recreation Centre.
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Samples of my work
Artist’s Statement All my life I’ve found I’m looking, observing, seeking change but also finding comfort in some things that stay familiar and remain unchanged. I seek the unusual in the ordinary, find beauty & order in disarray, I notice the source of light, and in saying this, I always remark on the acute angle of the evening sunset – when the sun loses its intensity creating those elongated marked shadows - my favorite by far. Then there’s an emphasis on size for me: the very big and the very small, photographing it all in my mind. I love feeling like a giant among tiny things and yet in contrast how insignificant we are among the humungous. Finding rapture in a tiny bug’s world or discovering the ancient giant cedars of Cathedral Grove are inspirational together. I have photographic memories of my larger than life grandmother who had amazing trinkets, Victorian style, with her constantly busy creative hands. Everything about her was old England & she taught me a love for an English garden where all things grow, along with fine china for afternoon tea. Ash Wednesday was for planting trees – she once said, “Everyone has their own tree, somewhere!” I never forgot that. Claiming it with our identity makes us care about it; so it is with all things. She and her friends had lovely old cabinets of cherry or mahogany wood containing collections of small treasures & little dollhouses – she gave me antique illustrated children’s books of fables, nursery rhymes and fairy tales that I have coveted to this day. My fascination with miniatures has never left me. You may want to share my enthusiasm by checking the creations of Carrie Walter Stettheimer, Miriam Schapiro, Robert Gober, and Laurie Simmons. I also follow Tanaka Tatsua with sheer delight! May you discover his miniature humour. My past is performance art and a proscenium stage, therefore I love to create scenes (it’s also about the dramatic lighting and my temptation to add a string or two) – staging a place for imagination to take you into the story… And it is in ‘the story’ that Tarot cards caught my attention, given the multitudes of set collections with fantastic artwork. The Major Arcana stood out to me when inspired by Michael Demeng’s Assemblage Art. I started an eclectic collection of found domestic objects from our personal environment that many of us recognize & created three to begin my journey…with “Protection Wands” being planned for the next creative project. Then there’s this love of trees and wood that overwhelms me at times…hence my overcoming fear of carving knives with sharp blades once I felt the soft forgiving nature of cottonwood bark four and a half years ago…I have always collected and created things from driftwood but the discovery of cottonwood bark with its deep veins and gnarly texture speaks to how it should be carved, revealing the most surprising shapes. I go about my work with a sense of new discovery, open to encounters, with a desire to share ‘what, how & why’ the bark spoke. Time simply escapes. How I love what I can do! This past year we had the opportunity to do riverside scouting for fallen cottonwood, trekking to Northern BC rivers to find and strip big long slabs. Much of it is stored for new projects. I recently created a piece based on current protests to save ancient growth trees in a watershed on Vancouver Island, a first for me to create a statement of environmental awareness – I’m sure there will be more. Bark speaks. As an Artist I want to raise the curtain and shine a light…