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Artist Transforms Driftwood Into Fantastical Sculptures That Peer Into the Mysteries of Life

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Oscar Wilde once popularly said, “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life,” perhaps suggesting an array of meanings leaving it up to the observer to decide. The imaginative co-creations carved by Debra Bernier, an artist from Victoria, Canada, take nature’s lively form into her own hands. She carefully observes pieces of driftwood, takes their shape into consideration, and dances with its form as she begins to carve.

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“When I work with driftwood, I never start with a blank canvas. Each piece of driftwood is already a sculpture, created by the caresses of the waves and wind. The wood tells a story and I try to think of its journey as I hold it in my hand. I extend or shorten the curves and contours that already exist into familiar shapes of animals or peoples’ faces.”

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“The finished pieces are a reflection of not only my life, my family, and children, but of an eternal, sacred connection we all share with nature.” This is a universal truth that we can always connect to. Bernier’s art goes beyond driftwood. She often incorporates other items such as shells to capture different elemental energies.


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“Each piece of driftwood is a work of art already, created through the hands of Mother Nature. The earth, the ocean, even the moon and its effects on the tides, play a part in the unique shaping of driftwood.”

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This idea is not just limited to driftwood and can extend to the artistic forms of all life—from the trees to the clouds and the stars to the ground. As Bernier’s creations pay tribute to the mysteries of life, may we continue to see the life in all things and the potential we have on influencing their form.

 

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