Sculptor, David Sidley, has always had a passion for the history of the land and the Earth's rock qualities of each area. He has studied at multiple post-secondary institutions including the Ontario College of Art and Design, Seneca College and the University of Oregon. Despite the relative scarcity of rock art sites, since 1984 Sidley has visited and researched more than 100 of them throughout North America studying pictographs and petroglyphs of the Native North American people.
“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 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. 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.”
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