Bergen Rocks RDC 2011

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The 2011 edition of Bergen Rocks was held at Red Deer College. Red Deer mayor, Morris Flewelling and his wife Hazel had visited my acreage for the 2008 edition of Bergen Rocks.In 2009 they visited again and brought Red Deer College President Joel Ward, also with his wife, to the 2009 event. Both are passionate about art and felt RDC would be a perfect venue, the rest is history. It was great to have RDC sharing the load of the event with me. They provided meals and onsite accommodations as well as a first-rate Sculpture lab for tool repair and maintenance etc., allowing me to focus more on the sculpting. There are always tools to maintain, assistance with operating specialized equipment etc. to keep me more than busy enough.

The Artists

Alesio Renaldi

ITALY

Ahmadi Saeid was born in 1970, Teheran, Iran 1994 – 2000 Kharkiv Academy of Design and Arts Educational degree: Master of Arts in sculpture Since 1999 has been a participant of numerous Ukraine republican and international exhibitions Since 2000 – a member of National Union of Artist of Ukraine Since 2003 – a member of Association of Iran Sculptor

Kim Bong Soo

KOREA

Bong Soo studied Fine Art at Kyong Pook National University where he earned an MFA in 2009. The main theme of Kim, Bong-Soo’s is the selfish duplicity of human beings, he has created a complete body of work based on this theme. A complete section of the indoor museum at Hasalla Art World in Korea is committed to his works in this theme. The character of human beings has been brought to life in his works.

Ebru Akinsi

INSTANBUL

From 1997-2003 Ebru studied at the Sculpture Departmant of Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul. Her sculptures can be found around the world, she has been very active in the international sculpture community. In addition to sculpture Ebru is trained and very skilled at painting, she has had great success in both mediums.

Min Kyoung Uk

KOREA

In 2003 Uk earned a Bachelor Degree from Wonkwang University in Korea and another at Accademia di Belle Arti in Italy in 2009. His works have been exhibited in Korea, Italy, Spain and France. His participation in Bergen Rocks is the first time he has worked in North America.

Li Chao

CHINA

Chao earned his bachelors degree at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 2004 where he now works as an instructor. He has been actively engaged in the field of sculpture, creating works across China and around the world. He has had public art placed in Germany, Finland, Holland, as well as several other countries.

Amgalan Tsmekvid

MONGOLIA

Amgalan studied, first, at the College of Music and Dance in Ulan-Bator, Mongolia and then continued his studies at The Institute of Architecture, Sculpture and Painting in St. Petersburg, Russia. He worked as Professor of Fine Art at the Fine Art College in Ulan-Bator. His body of work includes pieces in Mongolia, China, USA, Germany, Australia, Japan, Russia and Hungary.

Jiang Chu

CHINA

Chu Studied at the Institute of Fine Arts in Guangzhou, China and now teaches at the Shaanxi Province Institute of Sculpture. He has been active in the international sculpture community since receiving his degree, his works can be found in China, Lithuania, Turkey, Germany, Israel and Romania and several other countries around the world.

The Event

Another advantage we had in Red Deer was modern equipment. Sponsor Rivercity Developments provided 2 loaders from Moore’s Maintenance, owner Jeremy Moore came up to operate for a few of the tricky jobs that I was kind of nervous about doing.

It’s really nice when artists can be accompanied by someone close to them. Amgalan’s wife, Manda, traveled with him. She was a great help at the symposium assisting all the artists with little this and thats and Amgalan didn’t speak English but she is fluent so that really helped.

Uk’s wife, Shinae is an accomplished sculptress and assisted her husband at Bergen Rocks RDC. They arrived a week late as she was participating in a symposium in Europe that overlapped with our event. At that event Uk was HER assistant.

A photographer, and friend, Zeng Zheng traveled from China with Chao to document his project.

Brad Callihoo has traveled with me to several events too and he has documented all of the Bergen Rocks events. Many of the photographs on this site are Brad’s and some by Zheng also. Big thanks to these guys, their art really requires a specialized skill set.

This is one of Zeng’s shots. He really captured the enjoyment I get at these events despite all of the hard work that goes into them.

This year I changed the source of the stone, there had been quality issues with the Mabel Lake marble because the stones are erratics (loose stones found on the surface) and the supply of suitable stones that I could access with a crane and trucks to haul it down the mountain was pretty much depleted.

I ordered stone from Vietnam where a friend owns several quarries. This made procurement much simpler, an email with type of stone and dimensions was all that was needed and the stone was on its’ way. A few months later two seacans of marble arrived at RDC. We used three different types of marble; Crystal White which has large crystals that glint beautifully in the sunlight, Creamy White that has grains about the size of table salt and Yellow that is primarily yellow but has blue and red inclusions.

After drilling Uk inserts wedges and cleaves off large pieces of rubble. As with the video of Bong Soo this demonstrates that years of experience is required to know all of the techiniques and which to use in order to move ahead quickly.

Will helped out everywhere he could, making some cuts here with the gas chop saw for Uk.

The Sculptures

"Connection"

Min Kyoung Uk

Some of the stones were massive this year. Uk and Shinae had the largest, 22,000lb of creamy white marble. Uk’s sculpture, “Connection” was a huge job to complete in only 3 weeks, he and Shinae worked late into the night nearly every day.

"Shot Me Down"

Alesio Renaldi

Alesio made huge fret cuts with the big saw to get to his form quickly. Volunteer Will Truchon from Edmonton assisted him with moving the saw and knocking off the frets. Alesios’ sculpture will be, basically, cylindrical in the center so after this we rolled the stone over and they did the same on the other side.

A walk around the site demonstrates the mass of activity, everybody working hard to be sure they can complete in the allotted time.

"Journey of the Phoenix"

Ebru Akinsi

Ebru’s sculpture comprises of 5 pieces, a figure and 4 sections of a boat. She completed the figure (the phoenix) first and then worked each of the stones that would represent the boat and water.

Ebru is also very skilled at cutting stone, her stones were not as large as the others but the aggregate total (hahaha, aggregate!) was as much as any of the others.

"Rabbit"

Li Chao

Chao’s sculpture is the only one in yellow marble. These three photos show three stages; rough blocking out, the form almost completed and the finished piece. It took 4 weeks to progress to the end result. Notice that the colors and figure of the stone don’t come out until the stone is polished.

"I am a Liar"

Kim Bong Soo

Artists at these events must have the skills to do quality work and be able to do it quickly. This video shows Bong Soo blocking out his form, his method works well to remove large amounts of stone quickly. His cutting skills are awesome. More refinement to the form, texturing and details will come later.
This photo really demonstrates the size of Bong Soo’s stone.

He completed “I am a Liar” a few days ahead of schedule so he grabbed a piece of the rubble and created a smaller version that was quickly collected, even before the closing ceremony.

"Spring"

Jiang Chu

Chu’s sculpture, “Spring”, didn’t have deep cuts to be made anywhere, it made good use of all of the material in the block, so all of the cutting was by hand.
He also had less time than the other artists to create his sculpture “Spring”. He had another commitment at the tail end of the symposium and had to leave a week before the closing. The last few days that he was there he was polishing until well into the night in order to leave his best work. You don’t want to leave anything but your best work knowing it should remain for 2000 years or so

"Holy Horses"

Amgalan Tsmekvid

Amgalan’s design made excellent use of the material in his block, he did not have to cut away a lot of material so he was able to spend more time working on details. He marked a grid on his maquette to ensure he would have the right proportions. That allowed him to see clearly what would be carved on each segment. His maquette was made from fibreglass.

The Fun

Brad was onsite pretty much throughout the event helping out with things as able and taking lots of photos as usual.

Mark and Steve helped out again this year. Steve’s son Damian came down from Morrinville when he could get away from work. This is the second year he’s been at Bergen Rocks, I think he’s hooked.

About halfway through the symposium Mayor Flewelling and his wife, Hazel, invited our whole gang for a BBQ with all the fixins. The Flewellings are passionate art enthusiasts, we had such a nice time enjoying their beautiful home and good conversation.

About a week into the event I got a call from Zoe Rhimer, a student at ACAD in Calgary. She had heard about Bergen Rocks and wanted to volunteer. She came out for at least a couple of weeks, had a lot of fun and I think she slept on the floor!! I love art enthusiasts like that.

Zoe painted my logo on the saw cover, it’s still there but getting a little faided now.

My daughter, Jessica spent all of her spare time there, she worked and lived in Red Deer at the time. I love her too.

Just a good photo, volunteers have a gas helping the artists out.

Another night we went out to The Vat, a venue that offers live entertainment, some dancing ensued.

Other nights we just created our own entertainment, kind of a staple of symposia. I got a chuckle out of Uks’ glass, sculptors are an innovative bunch.

Each Tuesday the college took the artists on a trip to see something interesting and rest up for the next week’s work. They did the Fringe Festival, Banff, Drumheller and came to the Bergen Sculpture Park in a taxi. They got lots of looks pulling into A&W in a limousine to taste their first Teen Burger.

Chao’s cousin was attending university in Edmonton and some Mongolians from Calgary learned that Amagalan and Manda were here. Both came to visit, coincidences like that are really nice.

This was a really effective installation for the closing ceremony. I did instructions, “Face the equipment and imagine the power and ability of these machines to move and cut stone then turn around quickly to where the completed sculptures are exhibited.” The contrast hit you like a freight train and inspired a realization of the process that created the artworks. Installation art is really cool although it isn’t very common in our neck of the woods.

The college put on a lovely closing ceremony, a bigger crowd than we’ve ever had in Bergen. As usual an after party ensued with all of the people who had been involved in the month long event. The next morning participants started to leave for home, all of us hoping we would meet again…….and I began cleaning up the site.

Amgalan rang the bell 7 times, once for each sculptor, to officially close the symposium.