Mark Seal, "Westcoast Phantom," Vancouver Island marble on granite base, 28" high; base 50" x 60".
By Suzanne Mir
When it comes to the West Coast of Canada and its rugged environment, Mark Seal feels at home. Raised in a family of fishers, Seal's relationship with nature began at an early age. The sea, the islands and its wildlife were all influential in his penchant for natural and organic forms. It is not surprising, then, that his sculptures are tactile extensions of his early experiences.
Referring to his work as "coastal inspirations," Seal extracts beautifully rendered abstract and semi-abstract forms inspired by coastal flora and fauna. Some of his pieces are reminiscent of artists like Brancusi and Moore, while other works are more literal, relating to actual sea life and other natural detritus. Seal prefers to use the natural marble of Vancouver Island for his sculpture, feeling that the stones are central to his artistic process. No doubt, the combination of natural forms with indigenous material is what makes his work so intriguing.
Seal's work can be seen this fall at Caswell Lawrence Fine Art Gallery in Victoria.