David Sidley was born in Sun Valley, Idaho in 1958.He spent years moving around the US (Portland and Eugene, Oregon as well as Montana) before moving to Canada.He has lived in Toronto and Lefroy, Ontario and he currently resides in Rossland, BC.
David has studied at the Ontario College of Art, Seneca Collage and the University of Oregon studying Anthropology, Fine Art and International Banking.He has also travelled to over 100 North American rock art sites for sculpture inspiration.
He always exhibited an interest in canoeing and hiking, getting to the remote spots where he found his inspiration.
North American Native rock art has been around for at least 10,000 years. Yet, it is shrouded in mystery. Archaeologists admit they know little of the purpose or function of these intriguing ancient paintings, called pictographs, and carvings, known as petroglyphs.
As a painter and sculptor, I am fascinated by this artform. I have a lifelong personal admiration for the North American native culture and religion, and firmly believe these were the keys to survival for the peoples of the pre-white contact on this continent --- people who lived with nature, not in spite of it.
Through rock art, I can blend two of my favourite passions: art and native history. I transform these powerful two-dimensional pictographs and petroglyphs into watercolour paintings and cast bronze sculpture, using the lost wax process.
Despite the relative scarcity of rock art sites, since 1984 I have visited and studied more than 100 of them throughout North America. For me, these special places have a real feeling of magic and mystery. Many of the images are thought to be related to some form of hunting magic, vision-seeking or other religious purpose.
I believe North American rock art has a contemporary feel. At the same time, it is a very pure artform that has evolved apart from conventional western art.
My work allows me to express my deep sense of loss for our once abundant wildlife and the ability to live as part of, or at one with, nature. Native North Americans gained an intimate spiritual knowledge of wildlife and its environment because of their dependence on it for survival. Through my work, I am trying to recapture that spiritual knowledge.