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Abstract Female Torso Sculpture, Virasana

This past summer, I finally tackled the remaining part of a large block of Italian travertine that I brought back from Pietrasanta several years ago.

This has been a challenging season for me, as the Canadian Federal government is building a huge port expansion project directly behind my studio and rendered access to virtually nill during the summer, not to mention the stress of the access lane being removed during construction!

However, I have prevailed and the contractor has been wonderful in accommodating my business in the interim. A huge excavator moved the block of stone from the storage area to the carving area for me, and I set to work under the warmest sunny skies Vancouver has ever seen.

It took me a few weeks to complete the piece and it was photographed in the sculpture garden in front of the gallery. The composition is reminiscent of Greek amphora jars, as i feel those ancient vessels look so feminine and torso-like. I have done several variations on this theme, so the influence is still with me.

The title was suggested by a Facebook friend, Sharka and it is a pose from Yoga, meaning the hero pose, or Virasana. I liked the esoteric lilt to the word and it fits the abstract nature of the sculpture.

Since travertine is one of those very colourful and busy pattered stones, I choose to create only simple, stylized shapes from it. The viewer will initially notice the stone, and then the form that it is carved into, so it is best to keep the artwork simple. Since the grain of the stone was orientated perpendicular to the cut block, I had to maneuver the composition so that the grain was at an angle so the torso does not look too rigid.

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