"A Balanced Friendship"
Peter Shaughnessy, "A Balanced Friendship," 2003, various woods, glass and acrylic on board, 27" high x 12" wide x 6" deep.
By Jennifer MacLeod
You know you're in for something fresh when an exhibition is entitled, What Was He Thinking? The mind in question is that of artist Peter Shaughnessy. Based in the Chilcotin region of British Columbia, Shaughnessy creates sculptural "boxes" in pine, cedar and alder, mixed with such media as glass, copper, brass, beads, bones and horsehair. These are intricate objects, some featuring human figures and all imbued with a sense of liveliness or humour or pathos or, more likely, a mix of ideas. If we could push our feelings, emotions and thoughts into a tight ball and force them into a wooden object "perhaps they'd look like one of these boxes," says Shaughnessy. Referring to A Balanced Friendship, depicted here, he writes, "In the language of friendship this piece speaks several things to me: trust, reliance, dependence, sacrifice, support. All are important components of a close friendship. Because these two friends are smiling I sense they have mastered all of these components."
What Was He Thinking? runs September 5 to October 12, 2003, at Gallery Xylos in Calgary's Crossroads Market. Shaughnessy is also represented by Crafthouse in Vancouver and Mountain Craft Gallery, Whistler, B.C.